Matil­das ready to take on the world: Kerr

The Chronicle - - SPORT | DIGEST - — Tom Smithies

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.”

PHOTO: AAP

PARTY TIME: Sam Kerr (left) cel­e­brates her goal against Brazil with Caitlin Fo­ord.

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