A Dream Has Been Shattered
It has been very clear from day one that the Australian Matildas are in it to win the Cup, but then all dreams and hopes were shattered on the 23rd of June, and the crowds went silent. The emotion on the field was one of complete disbelief and devastation. They were out of the run, and the world is watching. What turned out to be one of the most captivating games in the entire Women’s Soccer World Cup did not end well for the Matildas.
A Brave Battle
During the entire game the Matilda never once stopped the fight for victory. Their resilience and magnificent comeback after losing to Brazil was noted far and wide and made a dream for them to win the Cup even more determined. Also getting a new coach a mere four months ahead of the World Cup didn’t stop them also to consider the fact that they might not make it. For the Matildas, this was their Cup to bring home. During their clash with Norway, they continued with this even after losing a player when Alanna Kennedy, defensive leader received a red card and they had to proceed with a slightly crippled team. The Aussie defender was confirmed guilty in the 104th minute of grabbing the shirt of Lisa-Marie Utland, Norwegian striker.
The Disruption in Play, a Break in Momentum
The Aussies kept the Norwegian team busy and running from the start, and it seemed that they were dominating for the first couple of minutes until the Norwegians found their rhythm again about 15 minutes in and the game was on in full force. The momentum was shattered in the 42nd minute with a long delay when Maria Thorisdotter, Norway’s defender seemed to have cleared the ball with either her shoulder or upper arm and a handball was called out. Valuable time was spent on looking at replays bringing the rhythm to a stop and then when the Aussies expected a penalty, the VAR wasn’t in their favour, and she was cleared, and the game had to continue.
A Penalty Shoot Out Failure
After a gruelling game and a draw on the scoreboard, the penalties determined the victor in the end and the rolling dice didn’t go in Aussie favour. Lydia Williams, the goalkeeper for the Matildas, had a brilliant play all game long, blocking six shots and deflecting two long-range shots. This was not a day of favour for Sam Kerr’s famous foot and when the Australians got an opening penalty kick her attempt went wide and high, right into the stands. Diminishing their odds against the Norwegians with a penalty score which just wasn’t good enough.
Then There Was Silence
And just like that the months of preparation, the hopes and dreams of victory and a lifetime of commitment turned into a heart-breaking defeat for a team and their nation. As Waltzing Matilda goes silent, the light shining from the Cup has gone dark for the Aussies.