Sam Kerr and the Matildas have been praised for their classy show of sportsmanship after their win over Denmark at the Women's World Cup, with a number of players spotted consoling their devastated opponents. Australia advanced to the quarter-finals on Monday night with a 2-0 victory, sending the Danes packing from the tournament.
A number of the Danish players slumped to the ground after the full-time whistle and could be seen in tears, prompting a brilliant reaction from the Matildas. Ellie Carpenter and Hayley Raso were among the many to console their vanquished rivals, with Carpenter offering a lovely hug for Danish striker Signe Bruun.
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Carpenter and Bruun, who were formally teammates at Lyon in France, also swapped jerseys after the game. The touching scenes lit up social media after the game, with many heaping praise on the Matildas for their classy display.
Sam Kerr's lovely moment with girlfriend Kristie Mewis
Sam Kerr, who made her first appearance of the tournament in a 15-minute cameo at the death, was also spotted in a lovely moment with her girlfriend Kristie Mewis. Kerr could be seen hugging Mewis - who plays for the United States team - in the crowd after full-time.
Mewis would have had mixed emotions about Kerr and the Matildas winning after the United States were knocked out at the hands of Sweden on Sunday night. Mewis came on as a substitute and converted her spot-kick during a penalty shootout, but Sweden went on to win it 5-4.
Speaking before the World Cup, Kerr opened up about the prospect of having to face Mewis. "We both feel like we’ve been gunning for this World Cup for so long now that it’s kind of going to be like we’re just giving everything for the next six months and then it’s gonna be like a breath of fresh air," she said.
“I think there’s this part of us where we’re both separate athletes and when we compete against each other there’s this worry that people don’t think we don’t take it seriously because you’re playing your girlfriend. That’s what I worry about most out of anything, is that our coaches or teammates don’t think that we can separate the two. I hope people know that when it’s training time or play time, it doesn’t come into it.”
Australia's Sam Kerr and USWNT's Kristie Mewis after the Matildas secured their spot in the Round of 16 ⚽️
Beautiful moment of sportsmanship ❤️ pic.twitter.com/SRNC0aWayA
— The GIST USA (@thegistusa) August 7, 2023
I am that kid in the Matildas’ shirt
Big day for sportsmanship and kindness https://t.co/A6e8fO7uKu
— australian womens cricket with very little context (@awcwvlc) August 7, 2023
First thing I noticed as soon as FT was called was Raso instantly going around comforting all the Danish players that were guttered just like she did with the Canadians last game. It's such a little example of sportsmanship but it's why we love her.#Matildas #TillItsDone #WWC23
— Reece Hart (@RAHart21) August 7, 2023
Love the sportsmanship between our girls and the Danes. I feel for them. #Matildas
— Melissa Blackwood 🌈🌸🌻 (@lilmissmel) August 7, 2023
Can the Matildas win the Women's World Cup?
While the United States joining fellow heavyweights Germany, Brazil and Canada in crashing out of the World Cup earlier than expected, the Matildas appear to be a genuine contender to go all the way. But they're not looking beyond Saturday's quarter-final against France.
"That's obviously the dream. Yeah, I mean, everyone's here to to do that, right?" Kerr said about potentially winning the whole thing. "But we've said from the start, even before the tournament, we're taking this one game at a time and we're not going to look too far ahead because that's when you slip."
The fact they have their superstar striker back should sound a huge warning to their rivals. "It's incredible," vice-captain Steph Catley said about Kerr's return. "How many times can you get to a quarter-final and then add your best player, one of the best players in the world back into your team, your captain?"
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