Sam Kerr

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Norway bounces Australia in PKs to reach World Cup quarters

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Norway needed 120 minutes and penalty kicks to do it, but the Grasshoppers topped Australia to join Germany as the first two nations to reach the quarterfinals of the 2019 Women’s World Cup on Saturday.

[ MORE: All of PST’s Women’s World Cup coverage ]

Same Kerr went inches from giving Australia a dream start and putting the Matildas ahead inside 25 seconds. After timing her run perfectly to split the Norwegian defense, she cut inside and pulled her right-footed shot just wide.

[ MORE: Germany handles Nigeria, books quarterfinal spot ]

Norway went ahead with a flawlessly taken goal in the 31st minute. Karina Saevik played one of the best 40-yard through balls we’ll see all summer, and that put Isabell Herlovsen one-on-one against the goalkeeper as she raced into the box. Her right-footed finish was strong and full of conviction, just inside the near post, to ripple the back of the net.

Australia were briefly awarded a penalty and a chance to draw level in the 42nd minute, as Maria Thorisdottir was initially deemed to have played the ball with her upper arm on a cross by Kerr. However, upon video review, the referee reversed her call and Norway were let off the hook.

[ MORE: USMNT faces T&T for first time since Couva ]

Australia were again on the wrong side of a crucial — and correct — refereeing decision in the 60th minute. Kerr deftly placed the ball in the back of the net after a nearly catastrophic error at the back by Norway, but she was spotted in an offside position during Australia’s quick transition from defending to possession, and the flag went up.

Australia left themselves in limbo until the 83rd minute, when Elise Kellond-Knight scored what was almost certainly an unintentional Olimpico goal after everyone the box — Aussies and Norwegians alike — were unable to get a touch on the tantalizing curler.

Australia was reduced to 10 players in the final seconds of the first period of extra-time. Alanna Kennedy was sent off for dragging Caroline Graham Hansen down by her shirt, denying what the referee deemed to be an obvious goal-scoring opportunity, despite the goalkeeper being quick off her line to challenge for the through ball.

Despite a handful of heart-stopping chances for both sides, neither side was able to break through in extra-time, forcing the first penalty shootout of the knockout rounds.

Norway converted all four of their spot kicks, while Kerr sent hers well wide and high in the first round. Ingrid Hjelmseth then proceeded to deny Emily Gielnik one round later to give the Norwegians an insurmountable lead and a place in the quarterfinals.

Women’s World Cup: Marta sets record, Kerr scores four

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The missions were clear for Australia and Brazil as Group C play concluded Tuesday at the Women’s World Cup in France: Don’t lose.

Neither did, and Marta became the leading scorer in the history of the World Cup, stretching her women’s record in the process.

[ MORE: Mata staying with Man Utd ]


Italy 0-1 Brazil

Marta increased her Women’s World Cup record for goals to 17 with a second half penalty as Brazil finished third in Group C with Italy, Brazil, and Australia all finishing on six points.

Cristiani Girelli had a goal rightfully ruled out for offside in the 29th minute, and Brazilian goalkeeper Barbara made a point blank save as the match neared halftime.

As the match wore on, Brazil was seemingly content with handing Italy the group in exchange for the point which would hand it a place in the knockout rounds, but Debinha hit the deck under a challenge by Elena Linari and Marta converted the penalty with 16 minutes to go.

Jamaica 1-4 Australia

With its World Cup hopes in jeopardy, Australia turned to its superstar to get the job done; Sam Kerr scored twice in both halves to leave the Reggae Girlz without a win at the 2019 World Cup.

The Matlidas wasted little time in establishing control, getting a goal from Kerr to make it 1-0 and firm up control of their knockout round hopes.

Kerr headed the below gem of a cross from former Liverpool and Ottawa Fury player Emily Gielnik into the goal, and doubled her output with an unmarked header in the 42nd minute.

Jamaica did manage its first World Cup goal early in the second half, with Havana Solaun working around the keeper to score with one of her first actions of the game.

Kerr added a third before this gift from Jamaica completed her four-goal haul.

Australia defies Marta, Brazil in 3-2 thriller (video)

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What began as a day for Marta turned the legend’s accomplishment into a footnote.

Brazil let a 2-0 lead slip as Australia rallied to keep its World Cup hopes alive with a 3-2 win on Thursday at La Mosson in Montpellier.

The result will loom large in Group C should Italy handle its business against Jamaica to clinch one of the group’s two automatic places in the knockout rounds.

Marta’s 27th minute penalty made her the first player to score in five World Cups, and put her level with Miroslav Klose for the most career World Cup goals with 16.

[ MORE: Women’s World Cup news ]

Eleven minutes later Cristiane’s deft header made it 2-0, her fourth goal in two matches.

But Australia rallied behind star Sam Kerr, as Caitlin Foord pulled a goal back in first half stoppage.

Brazil’s defensive play worsened as Chloe Logarzo made it 2-2 in the 58th, and a flicked back header became an own goal. It was initially ruled offside like Kerr, but VAR flipped the referee’s decision to give the Matildas a massive break.

Bonansea, Italy surprise Australia in stoppage time (video)

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This probably wasn’t the match Italy expected to win in the group stage, but it knew it had a chance and goodness did Barbara Bonansea and Co. seize it.

Italy saw a pair of goals pulled back for offside before it scored its deserved winner against Australia in both team’s 2019 Women’s World Cup debut on Sunday in France.

[ MORE: Women’s World Cup news ]

Bonansea scored deep in stoppage time to complete her brace, as Italy grabbed a big three points in its first World Cup match since 1999.

Sam Kerr was taken down in the box and scored the rebound of her saved penalty to give Australia a lead.

Bonansea made it 1-1 in the 56th minute with an interception deep in Australia territory before dribbling into the 18 to beat keeper Lydia Williams.

She made a mistake on a corner kick in the fifth minute of stoppage time, and Bonansea nodded home at the back post to give the Italians a huge win and a massive chance at the knockout rounds.

Sky Blue’s Sam Kerr named NWSL league MVP for 2017

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CHICAGO (AP) Sky Blue FC forward Sam Kerr has been named the National Women’s Soccer League’s Most Valuable Player for this season.

Kerr, a standout on the Australian national team, had a league-record 17 goals and became the league’s fifth Golden Boot winner to also be named MVP.

[ MORE: MLS Decision Day preview ]

She became the first NWSL player to score four goals in a game on Aug. 19 against the Seattle Reign. Kerr rallied Sky Blue from a 3-goal deficit to beat the Reign 5-4.

Kerr’s award was announced Friday. The league had earlier announced the season’s other award winners: North Carolina’s Abby Dahlkemper was named Defender of the Year, teammate Ashley Hatch was named Rookie of the Year, Portland’s Adrianna Franch was named Goalkeeper of the Year and the Thorns’ Mark Parsons was named Coach of the Year.