A shattered Sam Kerr has paid tribute to the Australian fans after the Matildas’ history-making FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign ended in defeat on Saturday night.
The Matildas captivated the nation with their run to the final four of the tournament, but lost to England in the semi-final before missing out on bronze after losing to Sweden 2-0.
Kerr hailed the support from the fans with another sellout crowd packing out Brisbane Stadium, combined with record TV ratings across the tournament.
“It’s been a dream come true,” she said after the loss to Sweden.
“The way the fans have got behind us, the way the girls have carried themselves. We’ve proven to the world but also within Australia that we are a footballing nation.
“That’s all down to the fans. We couldn’t get it done, but hopefully we’ve inspired people for many years to come.”
Sam Kerr waves to fans after the loss. Credit: Getty Images
Despite the defeat, the fourth-place finish is the best any Australian team has achieved at a Women’s World Cup.
Kerr was shattered to not come away with the bronze medal, but knows she will look back on the past month with pride.
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“It’s sad that it’s come to an end,” she said.
“This has been the best four weeks of our careers. It would have been nice to go out on a high.
“We have to reflect and think of how amazing this is.
“We’ve never come fourth before, although it’s disappointing I think we’ll think back to this in a couple of weeks and be really proud of how we did.”
Kerr, who missed the Matildas’ first three games with a calf injury, sent shockwaves through Australia when she went down clutching her calf after a heavy challenge in the second half.
She later said it was just a heavy knock and wouldn’t rule her out long term.