What a moment for Sam Kerr.
The 29-year-old forward, one of the best strikers in soccer, is adored in her home nation of Australia. And Wednesday, she finally got her crowning moment, scoring a spectacular goal for The Matildas in the 63rd minute. It tied the World Cup semifinal with England 1-1, breathing new life into Australia.
The score instantly sparked talk of it being one of the best goals in World Cup history — not just of goals scored at the 2023 World Cup. And it was fitting that it came from Kerr, the hometown hero.
It was Kerr’s first goal of the World Cup, as the Chelsey FC star had been battling an injury the last couple weeks.
Unfortunately for Kerr and Australia, the euphoria was short lived. The Matildas had a defensive breakdown minutes later, letting England re-take the lead on a Lauren Hemp goal. The Lionesses followed that up with a dagger in the 85th minute, scoring the final goal in their 3-1 victory.
“Even after Sam’s goal, there was no fear in the squad,” Hemp said afterward. “We weren’t nervous, we just played our football. I think that showed the relentlessness in the squad … I feel like no matter any challenge we’ve faced as a squad, we’ve managed to deal with it really well.”
And while Kerr surely loved her personal highlight, she’ll be haunted by two great looks she had late but couldn’t connect.
Afterward, while England celebrated its place in the final against Spain — a game that will kickoff Sunday at 6 a.m. ET — camera zoomed in on an obviously dejected Kerr. Australia will play Sweden in the third-place game at 4 a.m. ET Saturday.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Sam Kerr goal for Australia vs England among best in women’s World Cup