The Matildas’ World Cup dream has come crashing down after a heartbreaking penalty shootout loss against Norway.
In Australia’s round 16 clash in France, Elise Kellond-Knight drew Australia level with a stunning 83rd minute equaliser direct from a corner.
Alanna Kennedy was controversially red carded and sent off in the 104th minute, and Sam Kerr and Emily Gielnik botched their penalties after the game finished 1-1.
After the game, Kerr was downcast as she spoke with reporters, saying being knocked out in the penalty shootout was a ‘crappy way to lose’.
‘I feel like I let the team down a little bit,’ she said.
The Matilda’s world cup dream has come crashing down after a heartbreaking 1-1 (4-1) penalty shootout loss against Norway, in Australia’s worst World Cup results in 16 years
‘The first half was not our best but the second half we came out and dominated. We would’ve liked to win it in the 90 (minutes).’
She went on to say her team will support her and ‘won’t break’ as they prepare for the 2020 Olympic qualifiers.
‘We’ll learn from it, we’ll come back stronger… We’ve been through a lot, so I’m proud of the girls,’ she said.
‘Feels like we’ve let some people down but we’ll be stronger for it.’
Kyah Simon, who was out injured and missed the World Cup, was heartbroken at her team’s loss.
‘I’m just really heart broken for the girls. There’s no worse feeling than getting knocked out of the World Cup,’ Simon told SBS.
Alanna Kennedy is consoled by her teammates following their team’s defeat in the penalty shoot out during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, from which she was red carded in the 104th minute
Sam Kerr looks dejected after losing the penalty shoot out during Australia’s round 16 clash against Norway
Australia fell victim in the dreaded shootout, the same manner of exit that brought their departure from the 2016 Olympics.
Caroline Graham Hansen, Guro Reiten, Maren Mjelde and Ingrid Syrstad Engen scored their spot kicks, with Steph Catley the sole Australian to net her effort.
After Kerr went close within the opening 30 seconds of the match, Norway struck a fine opener on 31 minutes when they exposed Australia’s weakness in transition.
Australia fell victim in the dreaded shootout, the same manner of exit that brought their departure from the 2016 Olympics
The Matildas clung on for spot kicks while Sam Kerr and Emily Gielnik (pictured) botched their penalties
At the 59 minute mark, Kerr had the ball in the net only for it to be struck out, correctly, for offside
Karina Saevik’s curling pass was just out of Steph Catley’s reach, allowing Herlovsen to race onto the ball and finish expertly past Williams at the near post.
The Matildas thought they had a lifeline as half-time loomed, when Maria Thorisdottir leant in to cushion Kerr’s bouncing cross, with referee Reim Hussein assessing it as brushing the defender’s arms and awarding a penalty.
Norway celebrate after winning their round 16 World Cup match 1-1 (4-1) in a penalty shootout
Kerr had the ball on the spot, only for the decision to be reversed after a lengthy video assistant review.
At the 59 minute mark, Kerr had the ball in the net only for it to be struck out, correctly, for offside.
But Australia didn’t give up hope, and Kellond-Knight, who had just one goal in 108 appearances before kickoff, struck a low curling corner which nestled into the net after somehow evading a band of players.
Kyah Simon, who was out injured and missed the World Cup, was heartbroken at her team’s loss
A spectator called on fans not to point the finger at Matildas coach Ante Milicic
The goal also denied 16-year-old Mary Fowler a debut World Cup outing, just as she was preparing to come on.
Norway: Caroline Graham Hansen – GOAL (1-0)
Australia: Sam Kerr – MISS (1-0)
Norway: Guro Reiten – GOAL (2-0)
Australia: Emily Gielnik – SAVED (2-0)
Norway: Maren Mjelde – GOAL (3-0)
Australia: Steph Catley – GOAL (3-1)
Norway: Ingrid Syrstad Engen – GOAL (4-1)
The full-time whistle brought relief to everyone at the Allianz Riviera but there was no end to the chaos on the resumption of play.
Kerr botched a one-on-one chance before Vilde Boa Rise drew a fine one-handed save from Williams.
After Kennedy’s dismissal, Risa then struck the crossbar from more than 30 metres, attempting to lob Williams from long range.
Chances rained for Norway, with senior players Kellond-Knight, Emily van Egmond and Ellie Carpenter joining Kennedy off the pitch as time drew closer.