Matildas ready to take on the world: Kerr
FOOTBALL: Star striker Sam Kerr has underlined the Matildas’ growing confidence, setting Australia the target of becoming “the powerhouse of women’s football”.
Kerr’s second-half header proved to be the winner in Saturday’s friendly with Brazil, giving the Matildas their second win over the South Americans in six weeks.
Coming in the wake of Australia’s triumph at the recent Tournament of Nations in the US, the result reinforced the aim of Kerr and her teammates to be one of the world’s leading sides and target silverware in the next few years.
More than 15,000 fans packed out Pepper Stadium to see Lisa De Vanna give the hosts the lead with a superb volley, before Kerr’s header sealed the win – and the US-based striker said it was another result that would be noted around the world.
“That’s what we want, we want to win consistently against top five or top six nations,” she said.
“Brazil is a great team no matter where they’re ranked, they’re a top side and they’ve got Marta who’s one of the best to ever play the game. So we’ve got a lot of respect for them but now we’re wanting to be the powerhouse of women’s football. We feel confident every game, but more so now after the recent results we’ve had. It gives us confidence – it’s a bit more pressure, but we love going in to a game knowing Marta is worrying about Caitlin Foord and Steph Catley, rather than us just worrying about her.
“Even our team talks from when we played them at the World Cup (in 2015) are completely different, it’s about us and what we can do – which is really cool for the girls.”
Matildas coach Alen Stajcic hailed the front three of Kerr, De Vanna and Foord as the most dangerous in world football, and Kerr said the partnership had more to offer.
“It’s not been very long (playing together), Caitlin was injured and then I was,” she said. “But I love playing with those two, if someone is worrying about me then Caitlin and Lisa can run riot and vice versa.
“It was just that final pass – that’s the hard part, controlling possession in the final third. It’s something we’ve been trying to improve on but we’ve really only had one full session together (this week).
“The movement and reading each other are a bit rusty but it will come.”
PARTY TIME: Sam Kerr (left) celebrates her goal against Brazil with Caitlin Foord.