Sam Kerr believes the Matildas will only be stronger for Sunday morning’s heartbreaking penalty shootout defeat to Norway.
Australia’s World Cup campaign came to a bitter Round of 16 conclusion in a 4-1 shootout loss to the Scandinavian nation at the Stade Allianz Riviera in Nice.
It was the first penalty shootout the Matildas have encountered at world football’s showpiece tournament.
Kerr and winger Emily Gielnik missed from the spot, while goalkeeper Lydia Williams was unable to repeat the heroics which kept Norway at bay in extra-time following Alanna Kennedy’s 104th minute dismissal.
“It’s disappointing to lose on penalties but these are the moments where you grow and you become stronger as players and a team,” Kerr said.
“I feel like we’ve let some people down but we’ll be stronger from it.”
Before the drama from 12 yards commenced, Elise Kellond-Knight scored directly from a corner to level scores at 1-1 late in the second half, cancelling out Isabell Herlovsen’s 31st-minute effort.
Kerr added: “I’m most proud of the team. We’ve put in a lot of work. A lot of girls have sacrificed so much to be here.
“We’ve stuck together through thick and thin. It’s been a little bit of a roller-coaster ride for us, but to see where the girls have come and how the team has stuck together and the staff has stuck with us, we’re very grateful for all the support we have.”