‘Complete freak’: Skipper’s crazy mark
Australian captain Sam Kerr has shown why she is one of the world's best footballers, leading a masterclass on a historic day for women's football in this country.
Kerr scored in the third minute and the 72nd minute, reaching an insane 40 goals in 40 games for the year across her results for Perth Glory, the Chicago Red Stars and Australia.
She also has 38 goals in green-and-gold, surpassing Cheryl Salisbury into third on the Matildas' goalscoring list.
On top of the 2-1 victory over Chile, the Matildas played in front of a record Australian crowd of 20,029. It smashed the previous mark of 16,829 in Newcastle but commentator Brenton Speed said "I fancy we might beat that in the years to come too".
RECORD BREAKING!— Westfield Matildas (@TheMatildas) November 9, 2019
Thank you to the 20,029 fans who have come to see us and have made this match the highest-attended women’s football international in Australian history!#WeAreMatildas #AUSvCHI pic.twitter.com/GI4dBqjQ5g
There it is! 20,029 fans at @BankwestStadium for @TheMatildas #AUSvCHI - that’s the highest attendance number for a stand-alone women’s football international in Australia #womeninsport #WeAreMatildas @FFA pic.twitter.com/nHGIkNPGui— sam mostyn (@sammostyn) November 9, 2019
Cracking crowd for @TheMatildas who attract a completely different and new market to Australian Football.— Daniel Garb (@DanielGarb) November 9, 2019
Hence the very shrewd but deserved move from @FFA, @thepfa & @Socceroos to invest in them further with the equal pay deal.
Chile scored late in the game through Camila Saez but Australia held on and deserved the victory.
While it was far from a clinical performance with the World No. 8 ranked Aussies failing to put the No. 37 ranked Chile away, the day will be remembered for much more as Kerr once again proved why she has claimed as many accolades as she has and why she's looking to go dominate in Europe.
The reigning NWSL most valuable player again led Australia to the victory and showed she's a class above and social media responded.
Has any Australian ever scored as many top flight goals in a calendar year? 40 in 2019... Kerr is a complete freak #AUSvCHI— Ben McKay (@benmackey) November 9, 2019
Death, Taxes, and defenders being embarrassed as Sam Kerr splits their line to run into a through ball and score #AUSvCHI— Geoff Koop (@GKoop93) November 9, 2019
But post-match on Fox Sports, Kerr was not happy with the performance.
"I thought were good for about 75 minutes but the last 15 minutes was not good enough," Kerr said post-game. "It was disappointing to concede on a set piece. We won and played good for 75 per cent of the game but that's not good enough for us."
Matildas coach Ante Milicic praised his skipper and her incredible drive to reach new heights.
"If you watch her on TV, be happy. If you get to see her in real life, it's an amazing experience. I'm glad people got to witness it," he said.
"It's a pleasure for us as coaching staff to work with her to get better.
"She's very ambitious. She's the type that will be upset that she hasn't got another match ball to go with the one against Jamaica."
Centre back Jenna McCormick debuted in the game and was blown away by the experience in front of the record crowd.
"It was pretty incredible, I'm still wanting to be out there, I'm getting goosebumps just thinking of it," she said. "I worked really hard to get here and I am very proud and very appreciative of the girls, just being able to share it with them is special."
It's Australia's worst defensive record in a decade with 16 goals conceded this year in 10 games.
Earlier in the week, Kerr urged her Australia teammates to use their World Cup failure as fuel in their quest for Olympic gold in Tokyo.
"As a footballer, you never really get over things like (the World Cup)," Kerr said.
"I'm still thinking about things that happened and moments in games and I think that's just a footballer's way. But you do that with every game.
"We'll always remember it, but now we can use it as a tool for the next tournament we go to and remember those moments.
"I think we'll be thinking about it for probably until the next World Cup. But we've moved on now and ready to start playing again."
The games against Chile will prove crucial for Milicic, whose side don't play again until their first Olympic qualifying match against Chinese Tapei on February 3.
It comes as Kerr looks to move on from the W-League and is set to announced a European club she will be playing for within the next week.
"It's been a few years in the making, this decision. Within the next week or so, I'll make a decision and be really confident in that decision," Kerr said on Friday.
The Matildas face Chile again on Tuesday in Adelaide before their Olympic qualifiers start in February.
- with AAP
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