Matildas Lose to England, Fall Short of World Cup Final

Noah Strang
By:
Noah Strang
17/08/2023
News
BettingTop10 News
England is Too Much for Australia to Handle in 3-1 Semi-final Game

Australia dropped their World Cup semi-final matchup 3-1 to England, falling just short of playing a World Cup final on home soil.  

News Insights

  • Kerr starts for the first time in the World Cup.
  • Another Aussie’s shocking omission from the lineup.
  • England Vs. Australia Recap.
  • Matilda’s made their nation proud.

This Matildas team has gathered the support of the nation over the past few weeks of Women’s World Cup play. They used this support to help push them to the semi-finals where they ran into a buzzsaw of an English side who defeated them 3-1 to halt their dreams of lifting the trophy on home soil. 

Matilda’s Lineup Announcement Surprises

When Australia’s official starting lineup was released some two hours before kickoff, most people were looking for one thing. 

Was Sam Kerr starting or not?

To the delight of Matilda fans everywhere, she was. For the first time this tournament it was believed that Australia would be fielding their strongest possible side with Captain Kerr spearheading them up front. 

This changed the odds on betting apps around the world as Kerr is one of the best soccer players alive at the moment. 

All seemed well, until a further inspection of the starting squad. Alanna Kennedy, the centre-back who had played all 548 World Cup minutes to that point wasn’t on the list. Rather, veteran Clare Polkinghorne would be joining Clare Hunt along the Matildas backline. 

It was announced by the Matildas 90 minutes prior to the game beginning that Kennedy would be unable to take part in the match due to an illness. The news meant that just as Sam Kerr returned, a defensive stalwart in Kennedy was lost.  

Recap of The Match

Early, the Matildas vaunted counterattack was in full effect as they stretched the English defense and put them on their heels at times. Sam Kerr found herself in on goal with just the keeper to beat at one point but was just barely offside. 

England then eased into the game after the Matildas quick start and began controlling much of the ball and attacking with physicality in ball retrieval. Kerr in particular seemed to be taking heavy challenges and at one point Optus Sport’s Catherine Cannuli stated: “Number one on the list of tactics was ‘kick Sam Kerr a couple of times’.”

This voiced the displeasure that many Aussies likely felt as their captain seemed to be getting targeted, though post-game the English claimed they gave Kerr no special treatment. 

Nonetheless, as the first half wore on England found the breakthrough with Lauren Hemp finding the ball at her feet where the byline meets the 18-yard-box and slicing a pass back for Ella Toone who blasted a brilliant shot into the top corner. 

At the start of the second half, Australia looked to have regained some energy as they came out strong and with pace. Then, the magical moment came. 

Sam Kerr received the ball at the halfway line and began to dribble in on the English defense. As they backpedaled Kerr continued to move towards goal until suddenly, still some eight yards from the edge of the box, she unleashed a shot. 

The ball sailed brilliantly into the far top corner of the English net as Sam Kerr brought her country level much to the pleasure of the Stadium Australia faithful. 

The celebration was short lived as just seven minutes later Ellie Carpenter misread a ball over the top and allowed it to skip by her in the Matilda’s box. Lauren Hemp was breathing down her neck and as the mistake was made, was in a perfect position to smash the ball home for England. 

Australia’s best chance to tie it up came in the 85th minute when a corner kick bounced around and landed at Kerr’s foot on the edge of the six-yard box. A goal she likely scores nine times out of ten, unfortunately she skied the volley.

Alessia Russo would then seal the game for England in the 86th minute. 

The English held more possession at 58%, but the Matilda’s were dangerous, and the match could have gone either way. 

The Matildas fell 3-1 in their World Cup semi-final against England but have nothing to be ashamed of. The squad took Australia to their first semi-final ever and ignited the whole country in the process. The Matildas proved throughout the tournament that they have the stones to hang with any team in the world.