Sam Kerr has led the Matildas to a stunning victory over England in their international friendly in London, in a huge statement ahead of the women's World Cup. The Australian captain scored the Matildas' opening goal before setting up the second for Charlotte Grant.
Kerr once again showed why she's the deadliest striker in the women's game at Gtech Community Stadium on Tuesday, pouncing on a first-half error by England skipper Leah Williamson to put the Matildas ahead 1-0. After the break she turned provider, with a pinpoint cross being headed home by Grant via a deflection off the hapless Williamson.
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The Matildas' win over the high-flying England handed the European champions their first defeat in 31 matches. It was an extraordinary result for an injury-hit team on a miserable, rain-drenched night in London.
The result perfectly demonstrated coach Tony Gustavsson's belief that the Matildas fear no-one at their home World Cup in July. Coming up against an overwhelmingly partisan crowd of 14,500, Kerr's side were as aggressive, in-your-face and committed as Gustavsson had promised they would be.
“It was a good performance from us, everyone played really well, out of their skin, and it takes a lot to come over here and beat England at home, of course," Kerr said after the game. “To be honest we deserved the win because we defended really well and on the counterattack.
“It was just a patient performance and it took everyone to do their part. When you play like that it is worth it.”
Ellie Carpenter told Channel 10: “The Lionesses are the No.1 in the world at the moment in terms of form, but we had a game plan and we stuck to it and we showed the Aussie spirit. Every single player gave 110 per cent and that is what we are about, we wanted to put on a show and we cannot wait for the World Cup.”
Football world in frenzy over epic Sam Kerr display
The Matildas consistently made the Lionesses uncomfortable, with England losing their first match in two years after they won the first women's Finalissima against South American champions Brazil last week. Kerr was sensational, dispelling any worries about her fitness as she led from the front.
The Chelsea ace was pronounced fit to lead the line in a starting line-up that had two changes from the team beaten 1-0 by Scotland on Friday. Kerr, rested for the Scotland game with Gustavsson refusing to say whether she was carrying an injury, replaced Larissa Crummer up front and the difference for Australia was like night and day.
The Aussie star pounced on a weak back-pass by Williamson in the 32nd minute and deftly flicked the ball over goalkeeper Mary Earps to find the back of the net. Her cross for the second goal was just as good, picking out Grant in the box.
Kerr said of her goal: “I thought it was going to get to me on the full but it bounced and then as a striker you have to predict that someone is going to make a mistake. Fortunately it fell my way this time. I took a breath and finished it. On a wet night you have two anticipate that will happen.”
England’s unbeaten run of 26 wins and four draws had included winning the European Championship last summer. The Matildas' win also handed Sarina Wiegman her first loss in her tenure as England coach.
Amazing win from @TheMatildas - bring on the World Cup
— Charles Croucher (@ccroucher9) April 11, 2023
Sam Kerr is such a good striker, not an easy finish with the keeper bearing down.
— Razorlight 🇳🇬 ❁ (@Razorlight123) April 11, 2023
— Irony (@Irony_billionz) April 11, 2023
She gave an assist to the second goal😍😍
— MercyofGod (@OrisOmobolanle) April 11, 2023
What a finish💥💥💥
— Fatai Joseph (@Emperor_Joh) April 11, 2023
Sam does this so often it’s becoming her trade mark finish !!
— GazCFC…62 ⭐️⭐️ Carefree follow/er (@garrybutler1102) April 11, 2023
— megan (@pgh_megan_10) April 11, 2023
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