She’s about to play in her third AFC Women’s Asian Cup Final but Westfield Matildas superstar Sam Kerr admits there’s still plenty of nerves ahead of Australia’s clash with Japan.
The Matildas will be chasing a second Asian Cup title when they tackle their arch-rivals in Saturday’s Final in Amman.
The two teams met in the group stage of the tournament with Kerr’s late strike salvaging a 1-1 draw for the Matildas and sealing Australia’s spot at the 2019 FIFA World Cup in France.
Kerr, 24, has played in some of Australia’s biggest matches in recent years but admits she’s desperate to add to the Asian Cup title she won as a 16-year-old with the Matildas in 2010.
“It’s unbelievably exciting. It’s a really proud moment, all the girls are really pumped,” Kerr told FFA TV.
“This is my third one and hopefully my second win. I’m really nervous – I really, really want to win this.
“Hopefully the girls can pull through and get that win.”
The Matildas’ 2010 Asian Cup triumph was the team’s first major trophy and also saw the emergence of a teenage superstar by the name of Sam Kerr.
Kerr scored in the final against North Korea as the match ended 1-1, with Australia eventually winning courtesy of a penalty shootout.
The WA-born attacker still has fond memories of that triumph and rates it as one of her proudest achievements in football.
“That’s the number one. It’s my favourite footballing memory. I haven’t ever felt that feeling again,” Kerr said.
“It’s been a long time since the Matildas have lifted a trophy – other than the Tournament of Nations.
“But seriously, I can’t wait for Friday. Really excited for the game.”
Japan knocked off Australia 1-0 in the 2014 Asian Cup Final and Kerr admits that loss could provide some extra incentive for Alen Stajcic’s side.
“Any time you lose a final it stings and it just seems to be Japan that knocks us out of major tournaments or beats us in the Asian Cup Final,” Kerr said.
“For us it’s a little bit of extra motivation. But it’s a Final and no game really matters now other than this one this weekend.”
“We’re really excited. I guess the ones that were involved [in 2014] will have that memory of 2014 in their head.”