The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Matildas v Jamaica

by Ben Somerford on Jun 20, 2019

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It was the Sam Kerr show as the Matildas did enough to secure second spot in Group C and a winnable last 16 clash with Norway on Sunday morning (5am AEST).

Kerr nailed all four goals as Australia knocked off Jamaica 4-1 to edge Brazil for second spot in the group on goal difference.

That fractional goal difference advantage means the Matildas avoid a clash with either hosts France or world number two Germany.

Make no mistake, Norway, ranked 12th in the world, will be tough but it’s much more appetizing than the aforementioned teams.

A potential quarter-final with world number three England awaits the victor too.

Before we turn our attention to the knockout stages, GGArmy’s Ben Somerford reflects on the win over the Reggae Girlz.

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The Good
Well, that’s easy. Sam Kerr, of course! The Perth Glory star shook off the vexatious drama around her “suck on that one” comment and then wrote her own headlines with a record-breaking four-goal haul.

In doing so, she became the first Australian to score a hat-trick or better at a World Cup. But there’s a long list of records beyond that too.

Kerr is the third player in Women’s World Cup history to score four or more goals in a match and 10th overall across male and female World Cups.

The Bad
Once again the Matildas conceded. It was a joyous moment for lowly Jamaica, who had been battered with 3-0 and 5-0 defeats to Brazil and Italy respectively in their previous matches.

But for Australia, who had conceded 12 goals in the four matches prior to the Jamaica clash, it was another blemish for the backline. Australia’s defensive high line was caught out with Havana Solaun getting in behind from a Khadifa Shaw throughball, rounding Lydia Williams and slotting past the scrambling defence.

The following 10 minutes early in the second half offered Matildas’ fans plenty of heart palpitations as Jamaica threatened Williams’ goal on numerous occasions. The backline continues to be a worry.

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The Ugly
You’ve got to feel for Jamaica, but especially their young goalkeeper Nicole McClure whose disastrous blunder led to Kerr’s fourth goal. Australia fans should be thankful for the gaffe, as it enabled Australia to leapfrog Brazil on goal difference, despite their win over Italy in Valenciennes.

McClure dwelled on the ball far too long, creating some unnecessary pressure for herself, before completely mishitting her pass with her toenail as opposed to her foot, allowing the rampant and onrushing Kerr to swoop in. Kerr’s pressure late in the game, having been on the pitch 83 minutes, must be applauded but it was a horror moment for the Jamaican shot-stopper.

Norway won't offer such gifts in the knockouts, but we'll take it.