Sam Kerr has continued her incredible goalscoring run by netting both of Australia’s goals in an unconvincing 2-1 friendly win over Chile.
- Sam Kerr scored her 37th and 38th goals for Australia as the Matildas beat Chile 2-1 in Parramatta
- The Australian team was playing its first international since losing to Norway at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in June
- The two teams will play the second in a two-match series next Tuesday in Adelaide
Playing in front of a record domestic home crowd of 20,029 at Sydney’s Parramatta Stadium, Kerr rewarded them on Saturday afternoon by scoring in each half.
Her brace means the Matildas’ skipper has 40 goals in her last 40 games for both the national team and her two clubs — Perth in the W-League and Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL.
She also has 38 career goals in green-and-gold, surpassing Cheryl Salisbury into third place on the Matildas’ goalscoring list.
But with the Matildas playing in their first game since their disappointing June World Cup exit in France, Kerr’s heroics failed to mask a frustrating afternoon in front of goal.
Australia’s 16 shots on goal doubled that of their counterparts, and included a number of looks from point-blank range.
Their wastefulness left the door open for a Chilean comeback, which was given life when Camila Saez nodded home to score in the waning moments of the match.
But the Matildas held on and their two-game series with the world number 37 nation moves to Adelaide on Tuesday.
Kerr showed her frustration with the performance after the game.
“I thought we were good for about 75 minutes but the last 15 minutes [were] not good enough,” Kerr told the ABC.
“It is disappointing to concede on a set piece and you know, how we conceded the set piece was not good enough either.
“Look, we won and we played good for 75 per cent of the game but that is not good enough for us.”
Coach Ante Milicic made three changes from the team, outed by Norway at the round-of-16 stage in Paris, including the debut of code-hopper Jenna McCormick.
McCormick, who played for the Adelaide Crows in the 2017 AFLW season, was quick to share her excitement about making her international debut.
“I’m getting goose bumps just thinking about it and having to take deep breaths and really just soak in the moment,” she said to ABC post-match.
“I worked really hard to get here and I am just very, very proud and very appreciative of the girls and being able to share it with them — having my family here as well, I don’t really have many more words to be honest.”
The home side dominated from kick off, with Kerr driving home in just the third minute after Chile failed to clear a swinging Emily Van Egmond free kick.
The ball bounced up off Kerr’s thigh, and the Europe-bound striker fired into the bottom right corner past a helpless Christiane Endler.
Kerr’s presence was felt early.
She put one on a platter that Clare Polkinghorne fluffed inside the six-yard box, before Kerr had an airswing at a low Ellie Carpenter cross.
The visiting Chileans were not without their chances, and even put the ball in the net in the 13th minute from a Saez volley but was called back for offside.
Their best opportunity came in the 33rd minute when a sweeping movement parlayed into a Daniela Pardo effort from outside the box.
Her long-range shot flew past a diving Lydia Williams and just outside the post.
Playing against a deep Chilean defence, Australia found their groove in the second half but struggled to put away their chances.