Australia may have started a bit slow at their home World Cup, squeaking by the Republic of Ireland before losing to Nigeria in the second group game, but they’ve now put together back-to-back excellent performances, demolishing Canada 4-0 in the final group game and now beating Denmark in a fairly straightforward manner, 2-0, in the Round of 16.
And they’ve done it largely without the one and only Sam Kerr, who did finally make her return from injury in last night’s game, but was able to do it in a non-dire situation.
“I was going to play last game but the girls smashed it. They didn’t need me.
“Today there was the opportunity that I wouldn’t play if the girls smashed it. We thought it was best for me and the team, and the girls absolutely killed it. I’m so proud of them.
“Me coming on, personally, it was big relief after a big three weeks. Believe it or not we actually have a plan. The plan was just to warm-up. Once we scored it was kind of like a bit of breather. Take it slow. When I was ready to come on the coaches called me. I was ready. It was a long warm-up. It was good in the end.”
-Sam Kerr; source: Guardian
So it’s looking pretty good for “The Matildas”, as they will take on the winners of France vs. Morocco in the quarterfinals, where they should be favored in either matchup. England would likely await them in the semifinals then, and that could be a fun one indeed.