Sam Kerr has put on an attacking masterclass, scoring four goals as the Matildas romped to a 4-1 win over Jamaica to book Australia’s spot in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Round of 16.
The West Australian created history as she became the first Australian to score a hat-trick at a senior World Cup before adding another for good measure to cap a big night for the Matildas at the Stade Des Alpes.
The 25-year-old striker scored twice in the first half from sensational headers as the Matildas took a 2-0 lead to the break.
LIVE BLOG: Relive every goal and big moment from Australia’s clash with Jamaica
GUIDE: A look at all nine stadiums for the 2019 Women’s World Cup
GET TO KNOW THE SQUAD: Goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders, forward
The Jamaicans threatened a comeback when substitute Havana Solaun pulled one back early in the second half – the nation’s first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup goal – before Kerr made the result safe with two more goals in the last 21 minutes.
The result means the Matildas finish second in Group C and will face Norway in the Round of 16 in Nice on Sunday morning (3am WST).
The Matildas celebrate one of their four goals against Jamaica
“It’s an amazing feeling, obviously, scoring my first goal in the World Cup against Italy and to do this [against Jamaica] – but it was a team effort,” Kerr said.
“It wasn’t just about me today, it was a team effort and that’s what has got us through to the next round.
“A win was really important for us today.
“We weren’t too pleased with our first half, but a win’s a win. That’s what we needed to build our confidence going into the next game.”
Milicic made three changes to the side that beat Brazil on Friday, including a start for Lisa De Vanna in her 150th international, while Karly Roestbakken earned her first Matildas start.
But it was a familiar face in Kerr that made the first real impact on the match as she headed Australia in front on 11 minutes.
The impressive Emily Gielnik’s searching ball from the left found the Matildas skipper who planted a superb header past the despairing Nicole McClure in Jamaica’s goal.
Kerr went close a couple more times with headed opportunities before grabbing her second four minutes before the break.
This time Katrina Gorry was the architect, finding space on the edge of the box and picking out Kerr to bury her header past a stranded McClure.
Jamaica improved after the break and threatened a comeback when Solaun found the net just four minutes after coming off the bench.
But Kerr eased any Matildas nerves midway through the second half, finishing off from close range after the Jamaican defence failed to clear Hayley Raso’s cross.
There was still time for Kerr to write her name into Australian folklore with a fourth as she capitalised on a horrible error from McClure score her fourth.
It proved a vital goal as well, allowing Australia to leapfrog Brazil on goal difference and claim second spot in Group C.
Sam Kerr watches on as her first header beats the Jamaican keeper
Australians are encouraged to #GetOnside and show their support for the bid at AusBid2023.com.