FIFA Women's World Cup 2019: Australia's Sam Kerr hailed as 'GOAT' after four-goal romp over Jamaica
Sam Kerr scored all four goals in Australia's 4-1 win over Jamaica in the group stage of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 in France.
Striker Sam Kerr hailed as a national treasure and the greatest of all time in Australia
Sam Kerr becomes first man or woman Australian footballer to score hat-trick or better at a World Cup
Sam Kerr, after not scoring in 2011 and 2015 World Cups, scored four in one match against Jamaica
Sydney: Superstar striker Sam Kerr was hailed as a national treasure and the greatest of all time Wednesday after becoming the first Australian to score a hat-trick at a World Cup.
The 25-year-old banged in four goals as Australia smashed Jamaica 4-1 on Tuesday to reach the last 16.
Kerr -- the all-time leading scorer in the US National Women's Soccer League -- had remarkably not found the net in her previous two World Cup appearance in 2011 and 2015.
But she opened her account against Italy in the opening game and is now the tournament's joint top scorer with five alongside the USA's Alex Morgan after a striking performance that left Jamaica coach Hue Menzies in awe.
"I told her after the match that it's good to sit back and watch her play -- I'd pay to watch her," he said.
Her performance brought high praise back home from Australian footballers, commentators and fans.
"It was the best individual performance of her Matildas career, and probably the greatest one-off show by any Australian player," said veteran football writer Michael Lynch in The Age newspaper.
"There are hardly enough superlatives to describe Australia's taliswoman," public broadcaster SBS added.
Massive result Congratulations Matildas and Sam Kerr with 4 goals pic.twitter.com/qdQbnfUeJN
— TIM CAHILL (@Tim_Cahill) June 18, 2019
"Massive result. Congratulations Matildas and Sam Kerr with 4 goals," tweeted retired Australian Socceroos legend Tim Cahill, whom Kerr has cited as her goal-scoring inspiration.
Sam Kerr has become the first Australian player, male or female, to score a hat-trick or better at a World Cup. This is how her career went supernova: https://t.co/tjcFcSE5oz pic.twitter.com/SrQ9W7VwL0 — The Sydney Morning Herald (@smh) June 19, 2019
Fans took to Twitter to hail Kerr as a "national treasure" and "the GOAT (greatest of all time)".
"If Sam Kerr isn't your favourite Australian right now, you need to reevaluate yourself," another fan wrote on social media.
Only two players in the women's game have scored more goals in a single World Cup match -- Morgan and fellow American Michelle Akers who both bagged five.
Kerr's feats came after she told critics to "suck on that one" last week when the Matildas came from two goals down to stun Brazil 3-2.
There had been question marks about the strength of the Matildas' World Cup campaign -- which was rocked by the sudden sacking of coach Alen Stajcic in January -- after being shocked 2-1 by outsiders Italy to start the tournament.
Australia will face Norway in the last 16 in Nice on Saturday.
Infantino explained that his biennial World Cup plan in fact envisages a global showpiece every year, alternating between men's and women's competitions.
This is the first of the two friendlies the Indian team will play in the Scandinavian country.
Iranian women fans hoping to attend a football match for the first time in two years will have to wait — Tuesday's World Cup qualifier is to be played behind closed doors.