Home Sports Colombia Faces Jamaica as Quarterfinals Take Shape

Colombia Faces Jamaica as Quarterfinals Take Shape

Colombia Faces Jamaica as Quarterfinals Take Shape

Sam Kerr threw a scare into her coach, and her country, on Monday.Credit…Jaimi Joy/Reuters

Everything had been going so well. Australia was in the process of smoothly, confidently ending Denmark’s stay at the World Cup, claiming the prize of a place in the quarterfinals in the process.

Sam Kerr, the player whose injury-enforced absence has hung heavy over Australia for the last two weeks or so, had returned to action, and Stadium Australia was crackling with glee at the sight of the country’s great star clad once again in green and gold. It was all starting to come together. The place tingled with possibility.

And then Kerr fell over. She had been contesting a high ball, but had not quite arranged her feet in the correct manner. She seemed to bend in such a way that soccer players are generally not encouraged to bend. She was down. For a beat, she stayed down. The stadium held its breath,

It had, Australia Coach Tony Gustavsson admitted, been a “big decision” to give Kerr an 18-minute cameo on Monday, one that had involved several meetings with both the player and Australia’s medical staff. He had known it was a risk. He had wondered, after Australia scored its second goal, the one that settled things, whether maybe he should not take it.

In that moment, as Kerr lay on the turf, he wondered whether it had been the wrong call. He tried desperately to communicate with her, asking hurriedly if it might be best if she came off immediately. Kerr, though, put out a hand to calm him. She was fine. She had, she said, slipped; nothing more serious than that. She walked it off. The crowd cheered, its fears abated.

All’s well that ends well, then, but still: Those 30 seconds served as a reminder of how delicate Kerr’s situation — and by extension Australia’s World Cup campaign as a whole — remains: delicate enough that she was not permitted to perform the usual warm-down running exercise by the medical team after the game. The co-host is a very different proposition with her in the side. Its self-belief, to some extent, is tied up in her presence. There is no point taking too many risks. Kerr is a precious commodity, and she has to be handled as such.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here