On Saturday, Sam Kerr and Australia had one more chance to capture medals in the first World Cup in the Southern Hemisphere.
But the Malitdas fell in the third-place game to Sweden, 2-0. Even in defeat, Kerr, considered by many the greatest striker in the world, found a silver lining.
'We've proven to the world but also within Australia that we are a footballing nation. That's all down to the fans.' 🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺Sam Kerr. Aussie hero.Free to watch 📲 https://t.co/OChUMZEzzW#FIFAWWC #OptusSport pic.twitter.com/bAUsMlSSHw— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) August 19, 2023
'We've proven to the world but also within Australia that we are a footballing nation. That's all down to the fans.' 🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺Sam Kerr. Aussie hero.Free to watch 📲 https://t.co/OChUMZEzzW#FIFAWWC #OptusSport pic.twitter.com/bAUsMlSSHw
“Although it’s disappointing, we’ll think back to this in a couple of weeks and be really proud of how we did,” Kerr told reporters after the contest.
Australia has co-hosted this World Cup along with New Zealand, and the Matildas’ run to the tournament semifinal has proved to be one of the most intoxicating storylines for fans. Kerr played sparingly early in the tournament, because of a calf injury, before finally starting her team’s semifinal match against England.
Kerr scored in the 63rd minute of that contest, tying the game at 1, but England scored twice in the final 20 minutes to win. The third-place match provided one last opportunity for the Matildas to end the tournament on a positive note, but it wasn’t to be.
Still, Kerr believes the run was a positive showcase for Australia.
“The way the fans have got behind us, the way girls have carried themselves, I think we’ve proven to the world we are a footballing nation,” Kerr said. “We couldn’t get it done tonight, but hopefully we’ve inspired people for many years to come.”
She added: “It’s sad that it’s come to an end. This has been the best four weeks of our careers.”