Sam Kerr and Matildas feeling good after first step in Tokyo journey

Matildas captain Sam Kerr was delighted after her team recorded a 2-1 win in their opening game of Tokyo 2020. 

For the 27-year-old, victory over New Zealand is just the start of the team's Olympic plans. 

"We feel good. First win in the tournament, just our first step in this journey, so to get the win was the most important thing today. It's a confidence booster," Kerr said. 

Kerr delighted after win
Sam Kerr of Team Australia scores their side's second goal during the Women's First Round Group G match between Australia and New Zealand during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Stadium on July 21, 2021 in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Tameka Yallop found the back of the net first, after some clever play from Kyah Simon and Kerr.


The captain then headed home to double Australia's advantage and score her first goal in five games for the national team. 

"I would have obviously liked to score more and put the game to bed a lot sooner but we controlled the game. We let them in at times but the most important thing was the win. When you score as a striker, you're always happy."

Kerr delighted after win

Kerr knows the three points her team has collected have put them in a good position ahead of their clash with Sweden. 

"If we win the next game we almost guarantee ourselves to go through. So, the most important game is the next game, and we always knew that if we won today, we'd put ourselves in a good position to get a confidence boost and win the next game," she explained. 


Australia's next Group G opponents dismantled the reigning FIFA Women's World Cup champions, USA, which Kerr sees as a good thing. 

"It's such an even game now [women's football]. Anyone in the top 20 can beat anyone, so there's no one safe here, especially at the Olympics when it's a fast tournament."

While the focus is on Tokyo for now, Australia has plenty of reason to celebrate with an Olympics on home soil in the near future after Brisbane was announced as the host for 2032 Olympic Games. 


Like many of the Matildas, Kerr knows how influential a home Games can be on the next generation. 

"I remember when I was a young kid watching the Sydney 2000 Olympics and what that did for me as a kid, so hopefully we can replicate that again in Brisbane."

The Matildas had three WA-born players in the team against New Zealand - goalscorer Kerr, goalkeeper Lydia Williams and midfielder Aivi Luik.

The Matildas play Sweden on Saturday, July 24 with kick-off at 4.30pm WST.