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Tiny detail in Sam Kerr moment sends Australia wild as Matildas captain returns in FIFA Women’s World Cup victory

Tiny detail in Sam Kerr moment sends Australia wild as Matildas captain returns in FIFA Women’s World Cup victory
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Read Time:4 Minute, 57 Second

It was the moment the whole of Australia had wanted to see, the one thing missing from every Matildas match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup so far.

And finally their superstar captain Sam Kerr took the field as the tournament hosts brushed aside Denmark at Stadium Australia.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Crowd goes wild as Sam Kerr makes her first appearance.

Watch every Matildas FIFA Women’s World Cup™ match live and free on 7plus >> or stream all matches on Optus Sport >>

The striker remained on the bench for the majority of the game as her teammates put in a strong shift and took a 2-0 lead midway through the second half.

Despite continuing to manage her injury Kerr reminded in high spirits in the first half and was spotted laughing and smiling among teammates on the bench.

Then, in the 79th minute, Kerr took the field and the stadium erupted – and a tiny detail didn’t go unnoticed.

“You can see when she got subbed on, she ran on to the pitch smiling,” former England star Izzy Christiansen told Channel 7.

“That’s how much it means to her, that’s how much she loves her football. And she’s so authentic. Her leadership style is absolutely faultless.”

Matildas player ratings: Two perfect 10s on brilliant night

Sam Kerr makes her return for the Matildas. Credit: Getty

While her appearance was only short-lived, with the skipper playing just over 10 minutes up front, her presence was definitely felt throughout the game both on and off the pitch.

With each touch she had on the ball Kerr – who received the captain’s armband from Steph Catley before the substitution – the home crowd cheered in anticipation.

The superstar needed only a few minutes to show how dangerous she can be after getting on the end of a loose ball and driving towards the goal she unleashed a cracking shot that flashed over.

Importantly, Kerr showed no signs of the calf injury that ruined her Women’s World Cup to date.

“I feel good. I mean, I think I was a little bit rusty but nah, I felt great,” she told Channel 7.

“Such relief, I’ll sleep better tonight than I have the last three weeks. It’ll be a good sleep.”

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW: All the key moments from Sam Kerr in her comeback.

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Kerr conceded she may not have made an appearance if the margin had been greater but Hayley Raso’s second goal offered a buffer while the game remained competitive.

“Even today there was the opportunity that I wouldn’t play if the girls smashed it,” she said.

“But we thought it was best for me and the team and the girls absolutely killed it. Me coming on, personally, it was a big relief after a big three weeks.”

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But Kerr certainly wasn’t the only forward to test the Danish defence.

A stunning goal from Caitlin Foord in the first half saw the Matilda’s take the lead.

Mary Fowler won the ball in the midfield and produced a brilliant pass for Foord, who took two touches before finishing through the legs of goalkeeper Lene Christensen.

Later in the second half, Hayley Raso snagged another goal for the Matildas.

Caitlin Foord showed quick feet on the halfway line before feeding Mary Fowler, who showed her range with another brilliant through ball.

Kyra Cooney-Cross then squared it back to Fowler, who passed it on to Emily van Egmond before Hayley Raso was on hand to smash home from close range.

Ultimate brain fade rocks Women’s World Cup title contender

Sam Kerr having a laugh on the bench. Credit: Sutton, Ben/Channel 7

Devastating injury

Kerr had been battling a calf injury, with the news she would be missing the first two matches of the tournament breaking just over an hour before Australia’s first world cup clash against Ireland last Monday.

Since then fans have speculated just when the star would take the field for the Matildas.

Kerr had been praised for her continued leadership off the pitch while the Matildas earned their place in the round of 16 match.

“The only words Sam said to the team was, ‘Make sure you win without me, so I can get another week to try and recover and get healthy’,” Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson said after the match against Canada.

“The team responded and said, ‘Yes, we will, you sit on the bench tonight, and we’ll win for you’.

“You could see that commitment from the players, ‘Let’s do it, so Sam gets another week’.

“Having that belief as a team (to be without) in my opinion, the best striker in the world, which I think Sam is, and still go out and play the fluid football we did against the Olympic champions and score four goals, I think is very impressive.”

Kerr has given the squad pitchside rev-ups throughout the tournament and was seen celebrating from the bench each time Australia put the ball in the net.

“The way she leads the team and what she gives to the team off the field as well, not just in the locker room and on the buses, but in the hotel and in the meetings … that is massive leadership,” Gustavsson said.

How Hayley Raso went from being ‘reckless’ to a Matildas star

How Matildas can claim ultimate glory at ‘crazy’ World Cup

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