September 29, 2021

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Next Level Game Over

Australia vs Great Britain live, Matildas, women’s football, scores, results, stream, news, updates, line-ups


The Matildas have reached a first-ever Olympic semi-final after pipping Great Britain 4-3 in an extra-time epic, after Sam Kerr rescued the Australians from the brink of defeat before scoring again to seal a famous victory.

The Matildas were on the verge of being dumped out of the Olympics at the quarterfinal stage for the third time before captain Kerr levelled the scores at 2-2 with just one minute of regulation time remaining.

Australia goalkeeper Teagan Micah then kept the Matildas’ hopes alive when she made a sensational penalty save – and less than a minute later teen substitute Mary Fowler scored a long-range bullet (albeit with the help of a deflection) to hand Australia the lead.

Kerr doubled the margin with a brilliant header one minute into the second half of extra time – her fourth headed goal of the tournament – before Great Britain superstar striker Ellen White scored her third goal of the game to take things down to the wire.

But the Australians clung on for a statement victory to move within one win of a first-ever Olympic medal, having also never reached the semi-finals of a World Cup. They will face Sweden in the semi-finals, having lost 4-2 to the same side in the group stage.

It was as if the whole of Australia was watching the game together, riding the highs and the lows, and taking particular joy in having beaten the Old Enemy.

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After being saved twice by the woodwork in the opening 25 minutes, Australia claimed a shock lead against the run of play when Alanna Kennedy sent a powerful header into the back of the net.

Australia went on the attack in the second half, but their dominance early in the period came undone when superstar Great Britain striker Ellen White scored her fourth goal of the tournament with a sublime header in the 57th minute.

And the Manchester City attacker made it two goals in less than 10 minutes after pouncing on an Alanna Kennedy mistake in the box to coolly send the ball into the back of the net in the 66th minute.

But Sam Kerr hit back in the 89th minute after bringing down a long ball into the box and calmly rocketing it into the net, sending the match into extra time.

Australian defender Ellie Carpenter was adjudged to have brought down England substitute Nikita Parris in the 100th minute, but Teagan Micah got a strong glove to the resulting Caroline Weir penalty.

And just one minute later Mary Fowler launched a bullet from the edge of the box that deflected into the GB net.

One minute after the second-half of extra time began, Sam Kerr had her second goal of the game when she leapt into the air and headed the ball into the crossbar and into the goal.

In the 115th minute Ellen White completed her hat-trick with a header of her own. A corner was cleared, but only to Engand attacker Fran Kirby. She lifted the ball back into the box, and White glanced the ball over Micah to make it 4-3.

The Matildas make amends for two previous heartbreaking exits in the quarter-final stage: a 2-1 defeat to Sweden in Athens 2004, and then 7-6 in a penalty-shootout defeat to hosts Brazil five years ago in Rio.

Asked about the rollercoaster of emotions in the latter stages of the clash, Kerr said: “I was the same, I was like everyone at home on the couch. Sitting up there on the halfway line watching (the penalty).

“What a game. This team’s special, we showed so much heart, so much team spirit. I think we deserved it in the end.”

Kerr continued: “I actually can’t explain how proud I am to be part of this team and to lead this team out. Every day they surprise me. We’ve been through so much as a team. I haven’t seen some of these girls for nearly two years and we come out and beat teams that have played together for so long.

“We’ve got kids out there. Mary’s 18. I’m so proud of everyone, it’s a team effort!”

AS IT HAPPENED

The Australians received a huge double boost with the return to the starting line-up of two key attackers in Hayley Raso of Everton and Caitlin Foord of Arsenal.

Both were absent due to injury in Australia’s final group game, a goalless draw with the USA that ensured the Matildas qualified for the knockout stages as the best third-placed team from the group stages.

But despite that attacking reinforcement, the Matildas were forced onto the back foot from the kick off under the pressure of a British blitz which saw six shots in the first half an hour to Australia’s zero.

Great Britain’s defensive midfielder Keira Walsh unleashed a rocket towards goal inside a quarter of an hour, only for the shot to slam against the bottom of the post. Seven minutes later, winger Rachel Daly whipped in a cross-cum-shot from a tight angle on the edge of the area. Australia goalkeeper Teagan Micah was once again helpless to stop it, only for the post to come to the Matildas’ rescue for a second time.

Micah was well and truly doing her part to halt the onslaught, saving the follow-up shot from Lauren Hemp and a number of other attempts.

But 10 minutes later, Australia hit back against the run of play. Sam Kerr latched on to a long ball on a rapid counter-attack – the Matildas’ clear strategy in the first half – and raced forward, earning a corner on her attempted cross.

Steph Catley whipped in the corner to the edge of the six-yard box, and Alanna Kennedy rose highest to power the header toward the back post.

The 35th-minute strike was the difference going into the halftime whistle.

Alanna Kennedy scored the opener for Australia.Source: Channel 7

Australia started the second half in far more attacking fashion, with Catley again causing chaos in the GB box with a corner inside two minutes that was scrambled to safety.

And when Hayley Raso sent a cross into the box and found an unmarked Kyah Simon, it seemed Australia was on track for yet a fifth headed goal of the tournament – only for Simon to head it straight towards the goalkeeper in the centre of the goals.

Kerr, who had been isolated at the top of the attack for large portions of the first half, suddenly found teammates around her deep in the British half. That saw her given her first real chance at goal, which she sprayed wide.

A second opportunity arrived soon afterwards, as Raso again delivered a tempting cross to the back post, but it was a whisker away from the top of Kerr’s head.

Just as Kerr had not had any real opportunities in the first half, so too had Britain’s star striker Ellen White been stifled. But suddenly she found two golden chances, and made no mistake with a quick-fire brace.

Hemp drifted to the right wing and curled in a brilliant cross to the centre of the box. White had carved out a metre of space between the Alanna Kennedy and Ellie Carpenter, and she headed home an unstoppable header to the back post.

Then the woodwork which had twice favoured Australia in the first half suddenly changed its tune, denying the Australians a second goal on the hour mark.

A Kerr cross found Caitlin Foord at the back post, who rifled a volley back across goal from a tight angle straight into British defender Houghton. It deflected towards goal but struck the crossbar.

And the momentum continued to swing to the Great Britain team. A long throw found Ellen White, who flicked a header into the box. But Luik and Kennedy failed to effectively clear the ball. The ball bounced back to White, who – calm as you like – booted it into the back of the net.

It was her fifth goal of the tournament from just four games.

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Gustavsson responded by making a triple-substitution for the Matildas with ten minutes remaining. On came Emily Gielnik, Kyra Cooney-Cross & Mary Fowler. Off went Caitlin Foord, Kyah Simon & Aivi Luik.

Australia desperately poured forward in search of the equaliser. Raso was taken off and Chloe Logarzo substituted on with three minutes remaining.

Then in the 89th minute Emily van Egmond launched a long ball into the box towards Kennedy and Kerr. Kennedy missed the header by inches but it fell to Kerr, who dummied a shot then blasted the ball into the goal, equalising the score at 2-2 and sending it to extra time.

Early in extra time, Britain’s Keira Walsh launched a scorching strike towards goal, but

Teagan Micah tipped it over the bar with a brilliant fingertip save. And the ball fell to Ellen White in box from the resulting corner. White turned, found space, and sent the ball toward the top corner – but Micah got her fingertips to the ball once again for a miraculous save.

Australian defender Ellie Carpenter was adjudged to have brought down England substitute Nikita Parris in the 100th minute, but Teagan Micah got a strong glove to the resulting Caroline Weir penalty.

And just one minute later Mary Fowler launched a bullet from the edge of the box that deflected into the GB net.

One minute after the second-half of extra time began, Sam Kerr had her second goal of the game when she leapt into the air to meet a Tameka Yallop cross from deep – and headed the ball into the crossbar and into the goal.

White would complete her hat-trick with five minutes remaining in the match, rising highest at the near post to flick a header past Micah into the net. But Australia were not to be denied, holding on as Great Britain threw everything they had in hope of a late leveller.

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Sam Kerr scored the crucial equaliser for the Matildas – then the goal that sealed a stunning victory.Source: Channel 7



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