Sport Football Sam Kerr on how the Matildas will grab their World Cup chance
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Sam Kerr on how the Matildas will grab their World Cup chance

Sam Kerr heads forward in the match against the Netherlands. Photo: Getty
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As the Matildas turn their focus to their World Cup opener with Italy on Sunday, there’s no one keener for the match to arrive than Sam Kerr.

Despite a 3-0 defeat to the Netherlands in their final friendly before the tournament, Australia is still fancied to make a deep run in France, and perhaps contend.

Those hopes sit in contrast to the Matildas’ last World Cup, when they travelled to Canada without huge expectations and made the quarter finals.

Four years on, the memory of a painful exit to Japan at the last tournament still touches Kerr.

As does one statistic; in two tournament and eight World Cup matches, she is yet to score.

“I didn’t have a bad World Cup, but I just didn’t have the World Cup that I would have liked scoring-wise,” she said.

“Against the US and against Sweden I played but just didn’t score.

It’s the life of a striker. You have good games, but you think you played bad because you didn’t score.

“Hopefully I can change that this World Cup. And hopefully, there’s a few of us that can score a few goals.”

That Kerr’s breakthrough moment is yet to arrive isn’t totally surprising.

It’s only in the past two years that she has found her scoring boots at international level.

Kerr arrived the 2017 Tournament of Nations with 50 caps for Australia and just eight goals.

All smiles: The Matildas before their disappointing 3-0 loss to the Netherlands. Photo: Getty 

Her goals helped the Matildas to claim the tournament, announcing their arrival on the world stage.

Since then, she hasn’t stopped scoring, with 23 goals in 27 international appearances.

“I obviously want to score and have a great World Cup. But a tournament tally is not going to define me,” Kerr said.

“I just want to lift that World Cup trophy whether I score 10 goals or no goals.

“If I take two defenders away into the corner and Caitlin Foord, Lisa De Vanna or Emily van Egmond runs on for a tap-in, I’ve done my part.

“Over the last few years I’ve really learned to accept that you can have a good game and you can have an impact on the game as a striker without scoring.

“I think back then in 2015 I didn’t have that mindset.”

Australia was soundly beaten on Sunday (AEST) in Eindhoven by the Dutch, but Kerr says she won’t allow it to hit the confidence of her teammates.

“It just wasn’t our day. That’s football,” she said. “We’re not going to dwell on this loss.

“We have a week to go and we’re excited.”

-AAP