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  • Writer's pictureBy Dan Evans

"Eyes are peeled to England going down to Australia" says Chelsea forward Kerr

Chelsea striker Sam Kerr believes that Australia’s win against England on Tuesday can get her home country smiling as it looks forward to co-hosting this summer's World Cup.

The forward was at her deadly best at the Gtech Community Stadium, latching on to a misplaced Leah Williamson header to find the net in the first half before setting up Charlotte Grant to score a header that deflected in off the England captain after the interval.

The goal was Kerr’s 63rd for her country, but she was more focused on the impact the victory could have on the other side of the world.

“England is such a big footballing nation that when people wake up and see the Matildas have beaten them it’s big news,” Kerr said.

“Regardless of if they saw the game or not, eyes are peeled to England going down to Australia.

“These wins are obviously good for the team and good for the fans. Hopefully waking up today there’s a few happy Aussies.”

England’s defeat ended Sarina Wiegman’s 30-game unbeaten run as head coach just 100 days before the World Cup gets underway in Australia and New Zealand.

However, Kerr was quick to point out that this game will have little bearing on the upcoming tournament.

“Unfortunately beating England here tonight doesn’t win us anything,” she said, “I wouldn’t be here if it did, I would be out celebrating!

“Obviously they’re a great team so it was nice to put in a good team performance and beat them.

“We’ve got to take everything with a pinch of salt before the World Cup; it’s about building on our performances and where we can get better.”

Kerr’s goal saw her capitalise on a mix up between Williamson and England goalkeeper Mary Earps, and the 29-year-old explained that it was the type of finish that being a forward is all about.

“As a striker it is kind of what you do,” she said. “You have to hope that someone makes a mistake and make sure you are there. Once I saw it floating I kind of knew there was going to be a miscommunication and fortunately for me it went well.

“I thought the ball was going to get to me without Leah touching it. The wind was swirling all night, I just had to pray on it.”

Kerr was substituted late in the second half after appearing to pick up a knock, but she was quick to dispel any worries of a long-term injury after the game.

“I’ve jarred my knee a little bit, but I’ll be ready for Villa [in the FA Cup semi-final] on Sunday that’s for sure,” she said.

“I’ve got a bit of a sore foot, but it was about the bigger picture. There is a World Cup coming.

“Between the national team and Chelsea, we’ve tried to find the best plan for myself which is also best for both teams.

“After a really big month with Chelsea it was best that we managed my load. The plan was always to play 90 minutes tonight.”


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