Australia and Sweden Seek Podium Finish After Semis Exits

Australia and Sweden Seek Podium Finish After Semifinal Exits
Photo Credit: Instagram/CommBank Matildas

Australia and Sweden will play for third place at Lang Park on Saturday, after both teams lost in the semi-finals at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

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The Matildas lost 3-1 to England in Sydney, while Sweden were beaten 2-1 by Spain. England’s victory over Australia sets up a meeting with Spain in the Final.

Kerr’s Stunner Not Enough as England End Australia’s Run

Sam Kerr scores a worldie
Sam Kerr scores a screamer to level the match 1-1. Photo Credit: Instagram/CommBank Matildas

A sensational long-range strike from Matildas captain Sam Kerr was not enough to see Australia past England and into their first Women’s World Cup final. Kerr’s 20-metre screamer levelled the scores after England had taken a 1-0 lead in the matchup. However, goals from Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo put England back in front as the Lionesses held on for a 3-1 victory.

The loss ended Australia’s thrilling run through the knockout stage that saw them prevail on penalties against France. Despite their disappointment, the Matildas have surely inspired the nation with their performances.

Matildas Earn Plaudits Despite Defeat

Australia exits in the semis
Photo Credit: Instagram/CommBank Matildas

The Matildas have drawn praise for their efforts during the World Cup, overcoming adversity and captivating fans across the country. After initial concerns over Kerr’s fitness, the team rallied to escape the group stage before finding their form in the knockouts.

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The support of the Australian public has been a bright spot for Kerr and her teammates. Record crowds have turned out to back the Matildas, underlining the growth of the women’s game.

Kerr Calls for Investment to Take Game to Next Level

After Australia’s semi-final defeat, Kerr stressed the need for more funding and resources to develop women’s football. She wants this World Cup to be the start of real change.

“We need funding in our development, we need funding in our grassroots… We need funding everywhere,” Kerr said.

Both Kerr and coach Tony Gustavsson emphasised that while the Matildas have made the most of their current resources, more investment is needed at the grassroots level for Australia to truly compete with the top women’s sides.

Gustavsson said: “Let’s invest more and be genuine contenders for medals and tournaments moving forward as well.”

The team hope their inspiring performances will lead to more support to take Australian women’s football to even greater heights

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Kerr added that the tournament wasn’t a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity despite the home advantage. “If you bring the product to Australia, we’ll go out there and support it. And hopefully, we’ve got a few more fans that will stick around.”

The team hopes their inspiring performances will drive increased support to take Australian women’s football to even greater heights. For now, the Matildas will look to finish their tournament on a high note against Sweden.

Published 17 August 2023