Incredible Sam Kerr Secures Win For Waltzing Matildas
Sam Kerr and her magical head have starred in the Matildas 4-1 win over Jamaica for the Australians to secure second spot in their FIFA World Cup group.
The Australians needed a big win at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble to avoid meeting tournament favourites France in the Round of 16.
Their intent was obvious from the outset, with Australia taking control of possession and having the first chances of the match.
A cross into the box by Emily Gielnik found the head of Sam Kerr who leapt above her much taller defenders to put the ball away for Australia's first goal in just the 11th minute.
Kerr's head proved most troublesome for the Jamaicans, peppering their keeper Sydney Schneider throughout the half.
The Jamaicans sat back in defence, allowing Australia plenty of time on the ball, which they continued to take out wide and sling into Kerr who was waiting in the box.
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Kerr's attacking prowess in the air was shown once again in the final minutes of the first half when a cross from Katrina Gorry once again found that magical head, giving Australia a 2-0 lead.
Things took a worrying turn for the Aussies in the second half after they lost possession in the Jamaican half, allowing Khadija Shaw to thread a sublime pass to Havana Solaun, who dodged keeper Lydia William to score Jamaica's first-ever World Cup goal.
The goal started a tense period for the Matildas, with the Jamaicans unrelenting in their attack throughout the second half, giving the Aussies a few tense moments.
The Matildas' defence, which has been shaky at times throughout the tournament, was called in to question as the opposition looked more and more likely to find an equaliser.
But a pass into the box by Hayley Raso landed at the feet of -- you guessed it -- Sam Kerr in the 69th minute.
With a glorious first touch and turn, Kerr slotted the ball into the net for her hattrick and settling the nerves of Australians.
Momentum shifted after the third goal, as Australia found their attacking mojo again.
And Captain Kerr wasn't done just yet, pouncing on a keeper error to slot the ball in for her fourth in the 83rd minute.
The resounding win means Australia claims second spot in the group -- and most importantly avoids France in next round.
Despite Brazil winning 1-0 over Italy, the result wasn't enough for them to overtake Australia on the ladder.
Australia will face Norway on Saturday (5am Sunday AEST) in Nice in their first knock out game.