Sydney, Australia – Sam Kerr Knew it was over.

that magical journey Australia The one who was riding since last month went in a jiffy.

or more specifically, she knew when it was over England Ahead Lauren Hemp Dribbles quickly down the middle of the field, completes a perfect pass to a teammate alexia russo Dashing down the right wing in the 86th minute of the World Cup semi-final at the Stadium Australia on Wednesday, he fired a deadly shot into the bottom left corner of the net and saved it. 3-1 win over Matilda,

When informed after the match, England coach Sarina Wigman said, “I’m sorry.” His team ended Australia’s fairytale,

Now the competition will not be with Australia but with England spain of Sunday’s finals (coverage begins at 5 a.m. ET with kickoff at 6 a.m. ET on Fox and the Fox Sports app,

Russo’s goal took the energy out of an otherwise electrifying crowd. Kerr, sensational striker and loyal captain of the Matildas, was watching the play from the stands in midfield. He immediately bowed his head, put his hands on his knees and took a deep breath. This was considered her summer.

Widely regarded as the best player in the world, Kerr was set to star for Australia and score a lot of goals as her home country hosted the World Cup. But things didn’t go according to plan – as they rarely do. She eventually was ruled out of the entire group stage due to a calf injury sustained on the eve of the Matildas’ opening match. He made a victorious return to the field in the last 10 minutes of the match of the 16th round DenmarkPlayed 65 minutes in dramatic quarterfinal win France (and scored his penalty kick in the shootout), and he finally got his first start in the semi-finals against England on Wednesday of the tournament.

[England’s aggressive approach with Sam Kerr pays off]

Kerr said the team’s plan was always to build up his minutes so he could be ready for the semifinals and finals. And here she was, fit and keen with her neon-pink cleats that made her easy to recognize on the field. When his name in the starting lineup was announced over the stadium loudspeakers during warm-ups, the 75,784 fans in attendance roared in unison. Yes, Australia progressed in the tournament and got here with limited minutes for their superstar, but his comeback was worthwhile.

Then, with England leading 1–0 in the second half, Kerr had the moment everyone was waiting for when he cut across the Lionesses’ back line, pulled away and sent the ball into the top left corner Equalized. 65th minute. The fans chanted, “Go Matildas!” flags, and Kerr leapt into the air and raised his fists.

Sam Kerr’s brilliant strike against England in the World Cup semi-final | every angle

However after the game, Kerr couldn’t get enough of talking about his only goal of this World Cup.

“Yeah, I guess it doesn’t really matter now,” Kerr said.

Gustavsson described her scoring as a work of “personal genius” and knew she would respond that way when asked about it.

He added, “Knowing Sam, she probably thinks there was no value to that goal.” “She wants to win. She’s a winner. I’m happy for her that she achieved that goal. I think it proves who Sam Kerr is and what she can do. I also know that she Disgusted that he missed two chances.” end of the game. That’s how it’s wired. She always wants to score. He did everything.”

England regained their 2–1 lead five minutes later when Hemp scored. Ellie Carpenter and sent a shot past the goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold, Australia had a few solid chances to come back in it, but Kerr could not complete a header in the 82nd minute or a volley in the 85th minute and was clearly upset.

“It takes a moment and England were far more clinical than they were tonight,” Gustavsson said.

England’s Alessia Russo scored in the 86′ against Australia. 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

“But hopefully we won something else too,” he added afterwards. “We won hearts and passion for this sport in this country. It’s not the end of something. It needs to be the beginning of something.”

It cannot be denied that it is. Matilda inspired a nation. He inspired future generations of footballers. Watch parties were held in major cities and smaller towns across the country, attended by thousands. Ticket sales broke records. Local radio stations congratulated the team in between songs. They became so popular that Australian Football League matches were timed to allow fans to watch them.

And even though the players haven’t processed it yet, they’re proud of it all.

“I think that’s the only thing that’s keeping me smiling right now, the way we’ve inspired a nation and everybody’s behind us,” said Kerr, who retired after the final whistle. Stood on the ground for a while. on her hips in disbelief. “For us, hopefully this has been a life-changer for women’s soccer in Australia.”

[England ends Australia’s dream run, will meet Spain in World Cup final]

The midfielder said, “This team has left a legacy.” Alex Chidiak,

Matilda still has one game left – they will face Sweden They can create more history by winning the bronze medal in the third place match on Saturday.

“At the moment, it’s just heartbreak and disappointment that what we did here is finally over,” the defender said. steph catley, “But ultimately we believed we could go to the next level and do something really special.”

Lecon Littman covers college football, college basketball and soccer for Fox Sports. He previously wrote for Sports Illustrated, USA Today and The Indianapolis Star. She is the author of “Strong Like a Woman” to be published in spring 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Title IX. Follow him on Twitter @LakenLitman.

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