Chelsea players were on fire in the semifinals of the Women’s World Cup which saw Australia lose 3-1 to England. This match saw good performances from not one but two Chelsea players!
First up, Kerr’s Australia were one goal down to England until Sam Kerr did what she does best: be a game changer. England were passing the ball around until Russo got caught in possession by Katrina Gorry who passed it to Sam.
Kerr dribbled from the halfway line until she arrives into the final third with Fowler available on her left but instead, Kerr chose to shoot from 25 yards out and scored in the 63rd minute to make it 1-1 in the match. What a beauty of a strike!
This was Kerr’s first start in this tournament as she missed Australia’s first three games of this world cup due to an injured calf, before coming off the bench in Australia’s last two knockout games against Denmark and France. However, with this goal, Kerr quickly showed why she is considered as one of, if not the, best players in the world!
Of course, another Chelsea player and England captain, Millie Bright was not going to just sit and watch. With the game being in a 1-1 deadlock, Bright’s long ball served as the catalyst for England’s eventual win as it caused confusion in the back for Australia. Manchester City striker Lauren Hemp scored off Bright’s assist to give England the 2-1 lead in the 71st minute.
Kerr had another chance in the 82nd minute to equalize (yet again!) but unfortunately, she couldn’t do it this time. Fowler did some tidy work on the left to pick out a cross for Kerr who made a decent connection on the header but she could not manage to keep it on target.
Following that passage of play, Australia had two more chances: in the 84th minute and 85th minute. The first chance saw Earps save Vine’s shot on the overlap but the ball landed in a danger zone post the save. Somehow, Carter and Bronze combined to clear it out. The second chance and the even closer chance saw Earps punch Australia’s corner into Kerr’s path who tried to volley it but the shot just went wide.
These missed opportunities came back to bite England as one minute later, Russo scored off Hemp’s assist to make it 3-1 for England and thus, ended Australia’s run.
Kerr played the entire 90 minutes of the match, scored one goal and was the most fouled player on the pitch with 3 fouls received. Kerr also won an amazing 6 out of her 7 aerial duels and won all three of her ground duels. It makes you wonder what could have been if Kerr was completely fit, especially those missed chances at the end.
What a wonderful run by Australia in this World Cup. Unfortunately, they couldn’t make it to the final. The final of this brilliant World Cup will see England go up against Spain on 20th August. Mark your calendars!