Aussie sensation Sam Kerr has publicly called out the abuse teammate Ellie Carpenter has received from fans after the Matildas lost to England in the women's World Cup semi-final. The Matildas came so close to making further history, but fell to a strong England team 3-1 on Wednesday night after a couple of defensive lapses cost them the game.
Unfortunately, Sam Kerr's wonder goal was cancelled out when Carpenter wasn't able to deal with a bouncing ball in the second-half. Carpenter was at fault for England's second goal when she failed to clear the ball as Lauren Hemp scooted in behind her and slotted it past the goalkeeper to make it 2-1.
'NOT GOOD ENOUGH': Anthony Albanese move backfires on Matildas
While it was a lapse of judgement from the fullback, the Matildas had time to come back into the game with Kerr missing a very close chance in the dying minutes. Unfortunately, Carpenter has taken the brunt of the public outrage with the Matildas star being forced to limit comments on her social media after trolls took aim at her performance.
The move has shocked Australia with Carpenter being one of the Matildas' strongest performances and also making a miraculous comeback in the World Cup having only just returned from an ACL injury. Even more impressive, Carpenter has played nearly every single minute of the team's tournament so far.
But this hasn't stopped her form becoming a target after the Matildas fell so agonisingly short of a maiden World Cup final. And in the wake of the trolls targeting her teammate, Kerr has jumped to Carpenter's defence ahead of Australia's third-place playoff game against Sweden.
"With Ellie, people probably see how physically strong she is but she's mentally one of the toughest kids I've ever met in my life," Kerr told reporters ahead of their clash against Sweden on Saturday. "She's an amazing part of this team and the good thing about playing a team sport is it's never one person's fault, or it's never one person that made the team win.
"Without Ellie, our whole team plan probably changes. She's such a amazing player for us, and no-one in our team for one second has ever thought anything was Ellie's fault and I don't think Ellie thinks that and I don't think anyone should think that because there's 90 minutes in a football match.
"And I mean, if we talked about all the mistakes we could go for days, that's football. But no, Ellie's a strong kid. She's an amazing person. She's an amazing human on and off the park. She's a big part for us. She bounced back and the team got around her but she's a strong kid. She knows how to deal with her things."
Matildas rally around Ellie Carpenter ahead of playoff
Kerr wasn't the only one to weigh-in on the sad drama. Veteran defender Clare Polkinghorne said Carpenter was vital to the team and she had been nothing but a star for the Matildas at their home World Cup.
"Ellie's the heart and soul of this team," Polkinghorne said. "She gives us so much energy and she's one of the best players in the world in her position.
"She's been phenomenal for us." Carpenter is expected to line-up for the the Matildas in their World Cup third-placed playoff clash against Sweden at 6pm on Saturday.
Unfotuanely, the Matildas have battled a number of injury concerns throughout the tournament with Kerr only starting her first game against England in the semi-final. Alanna Kennedy missed the semi-final after suffering from concussion.
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.