The Matildas were knocked out of the World Cup early this morning, losing to Norway in a penalty shootout.
Scores were tied 1-1 at the end of extra time, before Australia fell 4-1 on penalties to end their campaign in France.
Australia was denied a penalty by VAR earlier in the match, had a player sent off and captain Sam Kerr was largely shut down by the defence.
Despite that coach Ante Milicic was taking positives away from the game and their overall performance at the Cup.
The match started off with a great ball from Caitlin Foord to Kerr in the opening minute, running through the Norwegian defence that left too many gaps, but the captain sent a good shot just wide of the post.
Unfortunately, this was one of the few promising chances The Matildas had in the first half.
Norway continued to dominate and create chances.
In the 31st minute, Australia were caught off in defence when Steph Catley lost sight of Isabell Herlovsen.
Herlovsen ran through to put the ball past Lydia Williams with Norway going up 1-0.
VAR caused some controversy in the 41st minute as referee Reim Hussein awarded a penalty to Australia after Maria Thorisdottir appeared to use her arm to defend in the box.
With Kerr eagerly waiting to take the spot kick, Hussein overturned her decision after a lengthy period watching video footage on the side line.
The Matildas needed to be more confident in their plays and finishes in the second half.
The 58th minute saw another controversial decision as Caitlin Foord’s ball looked to be on target, until it was deflected by Norwegian captain Maren Mjelde’s hand.
Foord shouting for it to be reviewed, with the referee choosing to play on.
With just seven minutes to go, The Matildas had a corner to take by Elise Kellond-Knight.
Kellond-Knight managed to put through a fantastic cross into a crowded box, straight into the net.
In the 90+1 first Kerr was pushed in the box and once again denied the decision to go Australia’s way.
The 90 minutes ending 1-1, forcing 30 minutes of extra time.
Kerr appealed for her third review as she was taken out in the box on the counter attack.
In the 94th minute, Lydia Williams pure brilliance was clear as she put up a magnificent save, reaching up to get the ball out, and four minutes later kept her side in the game with another great save.
Then in the 103rd minute Alanna Kennedy chased Lisa-Marie Utland, pulling her by the shirt.
To everyone’s shock Kennedy was given a straight red and sent off the pitch.
After that Norway were all over Australia, creating several opportunities to capitalise.
The match went to penalties as neither team could put one in the net during extra time.
Caroline Graham Hansen stepped up the take the first penalty scoring as Williams was sent the opposite way.
It was now Kerr who took her penalty, which was completely off target.
Norway went up by three in penalties until Steph Catley convincingly put her ball away in the net.
This give Australia watching on a glimpse of hope.
Ingrid Syrstad Engen then ended The Matilda’s dream to progress as she put one past Williams and gave Norway the 4-1 win.
The Matildas were inconsolable on the pitch.
Kerr when interviewed post game put on a brave face and declared: “It sucks to lose in penalities but these are the moments that you grow and become better as a team.”
The support came flooding through on social media for The Matildas.
Wow! How dramatic can you get. Never feels nice to go out via pens. The @TheMatildas deserved more, monumental effort from the girls. Very proud of them. Devastating but we are all behind you. #FIFAWWC @OptusSport
— Mark Schwarzer (@schwarzer_mark) June 22, 2019
I’m sitting at home now very proud of our Matildas and for the way they have flown the flag for our country. To the staff and all the MATILDAS thanks for all your efforts and leaving your HEART and SOUL on the pitch @FIFAWWC #THANKYOUMatildas
— TIM CAHILL (@Tim_Cahill) June 22, 2019
Hatch Newsroom are proud of the bright Australian side and will be closely following what they do next.
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