Sam Kerr, the captain of Australia’s women’s team and a forward, suffered a calf injury during practicing the day before the tournament began and will not be able to play in any of the team’s matches, including Thursday’s first match against Ireland.
The loss of Kerr is a significant setback for Tony Gustavsson’s 10th-ranked Matildas, who are widely regarded as one of the favorites to triumph in their domestic competition. With 63 goals scored for her nation, the Chelsea striker, who is now 29 years old, holds the record as the all-time top goalscorer.
On Instagram, less than an hour before the game was to begin, Kerr posted the following message: “I wanted to share this with everyone so that there is no distraction from us doing what we came here to achieve.”
“Of course, I would have loved to have been out there tonight, but I can’t wait to be a part of this amazing journey which starts now.” “Of course, I would have loved to have been out there tonight.”
She is scheduled to undergo further evaluation by the medical staff after Australia’s second group stage match, which will take place on July 27 against Nigeria.
Australia entered the competition on a wave of momentum, having won nine of their previous 10 games. These victories include a 1-0 victory over France in a friendly match that took place last Friday and a 2-0 victory over England in April, which brought an end to the Lionesses’ undefeated record of 30 games.
After the match against France, there was considerable talk that Kerr could have suffered an injury since she was seen with an ice pack on her hamstring shortly after being hauled out of the game in the 62nd minute.
Kerr is competing in his fourth World Cup and has expressed his excitement at the opportunity to showcase his talents in front of his home country’s supporters.
It is wonderful to be able to feel the love, she said on Wednesday. “To be at home and get the feel for it, walk down the streets and see people that are excited or flying around the country to watch us, it’s nice to be able to feel the love,” she added.
“But in addition to that, we are really proud to bring this World Cup home to Australia and let the Australian people experience what we do all over the world.”
It was anticipated that Stadium Australia would be packed for Thursday’s encounter against Ireland, who are competing in their first major competition. The match was scheduled to take place in front of a crowd that was at its maximum capacity. During the playing of the national anthem, Kerr was located in the dugout and joined arms with the other players on the bench for the squad.
The news brought a gloomy expression on the faces of the spectators as they entered the stadium.
According to fan Matt Starr, “Oh, that’s not good, that’s very bad, that’s awful, she’s the best player we have so that’s bad for us,”
“Very sad, we’re very sad, we came to see Sam Kerr but still Australia to win,” a fan named Sue Moar said. “We came to see Sam Kerr but still Australia to win.”
The news was described as “devastating” by Lisa Schibezi, who expresses optimism that Australia would advance through the group round so that Kerr can get the chance to compete in Sydney.
“Because this is our only chance to see her in Sydney. If they don’t make it through, we don’t get to see her play in Sydney, so just really really hope she’s okay and we get to see her again,” she added. “Because this is our only chance to see her in Sydney.”