‘It’s never one person’s fault’: Kerr defends Carpenter amid social media abuse

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Sam Kerr has leapt to the defence of Matildas teammate Ellie Carpenter after she was abused by social media trolls after her error against England in the World Cup semi-final, warning off people who have blamed her for the result.

Carpenter was at fault for the Lionesses’ second goal – which came eight minutes after Kerr’s stunning equaliser – as she failed to clear a long ball that was then smacked into the net by Lauren Hemp.

Australia’s subsequent failure to find a reply ultimately led to their elimination from the tournament and England’s progression to Sunday’s final against Spain.

Carpenter, 23, has since been forced to limit replies on her social media accounts due to an influx of what former Socceroos captain Craig Foster described as “vile, misogynistic garbage”.

Carpenter appeared to be in good spirits as the Matildas trained for the last time together ahead of their third-place play-off against Sweden in Brisbane.

Kerr said the rest of the team had thrown their support behind her – not that she needed it.

Lauren Hemp scores England’s second goal.Credit: Reuters

“People probably see how physically strong she is. But she’s mentally one of the toughest kids I’ve ever met in my life,” Kerr said.

“She’s an amazing part of this team, and the good thing about playing a team sport is it’s never one person’s fault, or it’s never one person that made the team win.

“Without Ellie – I mean, Tony [Gustavsson] will probably tell you – our whole team plan probably changes. She’s such an amazing player for us. And no one in our team for one second has ever thought anything was Ellie’s fault.

“I don’t think Ellie thinks that, and I don’t think anyone should think that, because there’s 90 minutes in a football match. If we talked about all the mistakes, we could go for days. That’s football.

“But Ellie’s a strong kid, she’s an amazing person, she’s an amazing human. On and off the park, she’s a big part for us. She bounced back and the team got around her.”

Carpenter, who only returned to action from an ACL injury earlier this year, has not been at her best during the World Cup but remains a critical part of the national team’s future, and has already racked up more than 60 appearances at such a young age.

She cut a devastated figure after the England match.

“I’m obviously heartbroken. There’s not much more to say,” she said. “We wanted to do the job tonight and go to the final … that didn’t happen.”

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