Sam Kerr reacts to missing sitter in Australia's World Cup defeat to England

A devastated Sam Kerr has blamed her late miss against England on a lack of match fitness after Australia were beaten 3-1 in the semi-final of the Women’s World Cup on Wednesday.

The Lionesses took a first-half lead through Ella Toone’s venomous effort but that strike was outdone in the second half by a moment of magic from Kerr, who drove towards goal before unleashing a thunderous drive that found the top corner.

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But the scores were not level for long as Lauren Hemp capitalised on some indecision in the Australian back-line before Alessia Russo wrapped up the result late on.

The Matildas did have opportunities to equalise before England’s third, tie-killing goal, with Kerr heading over before substitute Cortnee Vine forced Mary Earps into a fine save low down to her right.

Australia’s best chance of that frantic five-minute spell fell to Kerr from a corner, who was completely unmarked but blazed high over the bar from six yards with a sea of bodies on the goal line.

The Chelsea forward started for the first time at the tournament against England, having been hampered by a calf injury, and she has now revealed that she only had a handful of training sessions in the build-up to the game – something that ultimately took its toll when the late chance fell her way.

Speaking to Australia’s Channel 7, Kerr said: ‘Really disappointed obviously. We just fell short but yeah really proud of the girls for this whole tournament.

‘The one I missed the last little bit but I think I did everything I can to be back in this tournament and if I train more than five times this World Cup maybe I would have sunk that one.

‘I can’t put all the blame on myself, I have to think of all the things the team have done and I’ve done to be where we are right now and inspire the nation but yeah, it’s really disappointing.

‘It’s been tough. I can’t remember the last time I missed three games in a row.

‘I Just had to stick with the girls and they’ve done amazing and just had to focus what I could focus on and then be ready for tonight and the minutes I got over the last two games.

‘It’s been an enjoyable ride to be on, I guess regardless of the calf, it’s been an amazing honour to be here.’

On wanting to end the tournament on a high in the third-place play-off against Sweden on Saturday, Kerr added: ‘The support we’ve had from Aussies has been absolutely incredible, they’ve pushed us over the line, they’ve been at her hotel on screens, on planes, and everywhere we’ve felt the love so hopefully we can go and get third for them.’

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