Australia rallies around Matildas following heartbreaking World Cup semi-final loss

Aug 17, 2023
The Matildas will next face off against Sweden on Saturday, August 19 for third place. Source: Getty Images.

The Matildas have been dealt a devastating blow to their World Cup dreams after suffering a crushing defeat in the semi-finals to England.

In front of a passionate crowd of over 75,000, the Matildas suffered a 3-1 defeat against England’s Lionesses on Wednesday, August 16th, at Sydney Olympic Park.

In the tense semifinal clash, England’s Ella Toone gave her side the lead early on in the 36th minute.

Superstar captain Sam Kerr later stunned everyone with an extraordinary long-range solo goal in the 63rd minute, bringing supporters to their feet and equalising the score.

Despite Kerr’s stellar efforts, the exhilaration was short-lived, as Lauren Hemp found the net just eight minutes later, restoring England’s lead and dashing the Matildas’ hopes.

Alessia Russo sealed England’s victory with a third goal in the 86th minute, securing their place in the final against Spain.

Despite the disappointing loss, Kerr told reporters she found solace in the support the team had received from the nation during their World Cup campaign.

“I think that’s kind of the only thing that’s keeping me smiling right now, is the way that we’ve inspired the nation, everyone’s got behind us,” Kerr said.

“The tournament’s been amazing, every single team, player, person that’s visited has said how beautiful our country is.

“So I think for us, it’s been hopefully life-changing for women’s football in Australia.”

Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson put the loss down to England having “a better night than us”.

“It was one of those nights – I’ve said it before – tournament football is won and lost inside the 18 (yard box) and I think England was clinical tonight,” Gustavsson said.

“You have to understand that you sometimes play against a team that have a better night, and I think England had a better night than us.”

Even in defeat, a tidal wave of support surged across the nation, with fans rallying to applaud the Matildas and voice their unwavering pride in the team’s incredible efforts.

The Matildas will next face off against Sweden on Saturday, August 19 for third place.

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