As the Matildas prepare for their epic semi-final showdown against the England Lionesses, eagle-eyed supporters have pointed to an emotional part of the players’ celebration against France involving Ellie Carpenter.
The Matildas were victorious in a penalty shootout against Les Bleus with goalkeeper MacKenzie Arnold hitting the rock in the goal mouth saving the day for the Aussies.
As the players gathered to celebrate, fans pointed to the moment when Carpenter saw Arnold arrive to join her teammates.
The defender immediately struggled out of fellow Matildas’ clutches and pointed to Arnold as she yelled at the star of the match.
The looks (on) Ellie Carpenter and Katrina Gorry’s faces when they see Mackenzie Arnold coming into the post-penalty scrum,” one fan posted.
Obsessed with these screenshots of Ellie Carpenter. Her face is every Matildas fan,” added another.
“This face says all there is to say,” another fan agreed.
“Ellie’s reaction when she saw Mackenzie Arnold after the shoot will be long remembered,” another posted.
As the Matildas gathered to celebrate, Carpenter saw Arnold running toward them and struggled free.
She pointed to the goalkeeper who saved the day for Australia with an expression that fans believed represented every Matildas supporter at the time.
After the game, Carpenter gave an emotional speech about what victory meant for all players.
“Growing up, I was on a boys team. I didn’t have a girls’ team,” said the defender.
“I think if I was a 12-year-old at Stadium Australia and Suncorp (Brisbane Stadium), watching sold-out crowds, how amazing that is for young girls and young boys to see that.
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“How far we’ve come is just unbelievable. I’m so proud to be part of this generation, that what we’ve done has changed women’s sport in Australia, not just football but sport in general.
“Our job this World Cup was to inspire the next generation and hear how many people watch our games, come to our games, have live sites all over Australia – they’re showing our game in four major stadiums – that’s just incredible.
‘This is what we wanted to do. We wanted to inspire the next generation and pave the way for women’s football in Australia.”
Arnold roars after saving the first penalty from France’s Selma Bacha in a shootout that would see the Aussies triumph
Arnold rushes to join her ecstatic teammates, including Carpenter picking the Aussie goalkeeper
Arnold still has to come to terms with the emotion of victory and what’s to come.
“I will remember this night for the rest of my life,” she said.
“I certainly didn’t process it.
“That’s the craziest game I’ve ever played considering what was at stake.
“It’s going to be a long time before I really realize what happened and what I did and what the team did. I’m just super proud to be Australian now.’
The Matildas goalkeeper also revealed that she was struggling with a health issue prior to the match.
“I haven’t been doing so well the last few weeks. So I’m still over that, hence the eyes – these aren’t tears, but still they aren’t tears.
“(But) you just have to do your job. I was always playing.’