Kerr’s loss is a big blow for the Matildas, who are considered one of the favourites to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Australia captain and forward Sam Kerr has been ruled out of two games of the Women’s World Cup, including the opener against Ireland on Thursday, after picking up a calf injury in training a day earlier.

Kerr’s loss is a big blow for Tony Gustavsson’s 10th-ranked Matildas, who are considered one of the favourites to win their home tournament. The 29-year-old Chelsea striker is the all time leading goalscorer for her country with 63 goals.

“I wanted to share this with everyone so there is no distraction from us doing what we came here to achieve,” Kerr posted on Instagram barely an hour before kickoff.

“Of course I would have loved to have been out there tonight but I can’t wait to be a part of this amazing journey which starts now.”

The team said she would re-assessed by the medical team after Australia’s second group stage match on July 27 against Nigeria.

‘Really proud to bring this World Cup home’

Australia kick off the tournament on a wave of momentum having won nine of their previous 10 games, including a 1-0 win over France in a friendly last Friday and a 2-0 win over England in April that ended the Lionesses’ 30-game unbeaten streak.

There was some injury speculation around Kerr after the France game when she was spotted with an ice pack on her hamstring after she was taken off in the 62nd minute.

This is the fourth World Cup for Kerr, who spoke about the pride of playing on the global stage in front of a home crowd.

“To be at home and get the feel for it, walk down the streets and see people that are excited or flying around the country to watch us, it’s nice to be able to feel the love,” she said on Wednesday.

“But also we’re really proud to bring this World Cup home and let Australia experience what we do all around the world.”

Thursday’s match against Ireland, making their first appearance at a major tournament, was expected to be played in front of a capacity crowd at Stadium Australia.

The Chelsea forward is considered one of the finest goal-scorers in the world and is an iconic figure in Australia.


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