Heartbreaking moment Matilda Lydia Williams cries all by herself after loss to Sweden – as team’s longest-serving star prepares to bow out of the game
- Williams sat by herself in six-yard box after final whistle
- Goalkeeper has been selected at five World Cups
- WATCH: ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ – Episode 1 – Mail Sport’s brand new football show
Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams had an emotional moment to herself after Australia’s historic Women’s World Cup run came to an end with Saturday night’s 2-0 loss to Sweden.
Williams, who is the longest-serving Matilda with an 18-year career, made history alongside teammate Clare Polkinghorne as the first Aussies to be selected in five World Cups.
It all seemed to sink in for the 35-year-old after a tired and depleted Matildas side lost their battle against Sweden for third-place honours in their home World Cup.
The veteran keeper was spotted long after the final whistle sitting by herself in the six-yard box enjoying the bright lights of a World Cup for the last time.
Football fans who had stayed on at Brisbane Stadium after the match noticed the emotional moment, and also noted that it was Williams’ understudy Mackenzie Arnold who was the first to console her.
Lydia Williams had an emotional moment to herself after Australia’s historic Women’s World Cup run came to an end with a 2-0 loss to Sweden
Williams, 35, was consoled by her fellow goalie Mackenzie Arnold after the loss
‘Lydia Williams sitting in the goal crying after her final World Cup is the end for me,’ Tweeted a Matildas fan.
‘I’m so glad she got to finish at a World Cup on home soil seeing crowds like this. That’s both uplifting and heartbreaking. Amazing photo,’ replied another.
‘That is so heartbreaking, I have no words,’ commented a third.
The shot-stopper began her career in the national team with her first call-up to the camp at just 15 years old.
In July 2005, she earned her first cap in her debut match against the Korea Republic.
Since then, Williams has notched up 102 international caps for the Matildas covering four World Cups, two Olympic Games and six Asian Cups.
Williams never dreamed she’d play in a World Cup for Australia in Australia.
‘It’s pretty crazy to be honest,’ Williams told reporters before the tournament.
‘I would never have thought we (Australia) would have a home World Cup, let alone going to five (myself), which is pretty insane when you think about it.
‘I’m feeling really excited and honoured and blessed to have this opportunity.’
Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson reflected after the game on the side’s remarkable run in the tournament that captured the hearts of the nation.
‘It’s a difficult moment to find the right words, to be honest,’ he said of his last team huddle with the players.
‘I said I know we’re hurt. We wanted to bring home a medal for this team, for these fans, families, friends, for this country.
‘It’s the second big tournament now that we’ve played for a medal and we’re missing out.
‘But I also said maybe we won something bigger than a medal in this tournament.
‘It’s a difficult moment now to talk about that but when we distance ourselves from this game and look at the whole tournament, I think maybe we’ve won something bigger than a medal.’