Sam Kerr lifts Australia to last-minute win against New Zealand

(Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

The game was all but over, with New Zealand looking to take a 1-0 win over Australia. Then Emily van Egmond and Sam Kerr struck late to lift the Matildas over the Football Ferns in the international friendly.

Australia trailed 1-0 at the end of regulation before van Egmond struck first in the 94th minute. Kerr found the back of the net two minutes later, pouncing on a loose ball from a corner kick to secure the dramatic win.

In doing so, the Matildas avoided their first loss to New Zealand since 1994.

Anna Green gave the Football Ferns the early lead, which seemed like it would be enough. But the Matildas never gave up, dominating possession time (including 71 percent in the first half) and completing more than double the amount of passes. In total, they had 16 shots – with six coming on goal.

“It just shows the belief we have in this team,” van Egmond said. “Football’s a funny game, you can have 90 per cent of the ball and maybe you don’t put it into the back of the net, but if you stay loyal to the game plan like Tony said, and the principles we’ve got in place, eventually it’ll come together.”

It’s not the first time that Kerr has played hero for the Matildas. Australia’s all-time leading goal scorer had a similar game against England in the Olympics, where she scored one in the 106th minute to lift Australia to the Olympic semifinals.

The two teams will meet again in the second game of their friendly series on Tuesday.