Jamaican coach Hue Menzies might have anticipated what was coming when he labelled Matildas skipper Sam Kerr as ‘the best player in the world’ prior to Wednesday morning’s (AEST) clash between the two nations at the FIFA Women’s World Cup™.
And the Jamaican coach’s words proved prophetic as Australia's star striker terrorised his side, scoring all four goals in her country's 4-1 win in Grenoble.
In his pre-game press conference Menzies revealed he had voted for Kerr to be crowned FIFA’s Female Player of the Year in 2018 and predicted that cutting off service to the 25-year-old striker would be crucial for his side.
Unfortunately for the World Cup debutants from the Caribbean, they were unable to sever the Matildas' supply lines.
After watching Kerr put his team to the sword at the Stade des Alpes, the 55-year-old coach reaffirmed his admiration for the Australian star.
“It doesn’t get any better than that. The kid [Kerr] is just resilient, she’s a goalscorer, she plays for her badge, her country,” Menzies said after the match.
“I just like where her attitude is, especially in the box. And you can’t teach that, that’s something she has and has developed.
It was good to just sit back and watch. I would pay to watch her.
“It’s something that she just has in her and she brings her team in behind her. So a lot of kudos goes out to the kid, [she's a] good player.”
Before this tournament, Kerr had played in nine FIFA Women’s World Cup matches without finding the net.
In three games in France, she has five goals to her name, putting her alongside the USA’s Alex Morgan as the tournament’s leading scorer.
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Matildas boss Ante Milicic said of his skipper: “She’s an inspirational leader and we as an Australian footballing community are witnessing one of the best players in the world live.
“I’m very fortunate to work with her and coach her.
“In the end she got her rewards and she fully deserved that. You know Sammy’s all about goals.
She’s a special one…it’s history as an Australian player to do what she has done at a World Cup.”
World Cup France 2019™ – Round of 16 - Next Australia match
Norway v Australia
Date: Sunday, 23 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade de Nice, Nice
Kick-off: 5.00am AEST (9.00pm local time, Saturday 22 June)
Click below to #GetOnside for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023™ in Australia