Rosemeadow's Alanna Kennedy and Matildas' World Cup dream over

HEARTBROKEN: Alanna Kennedy (right) and a Matildas team mate react after losing to Norway on Sunday morning. Picture: Thibault Camus/AP Photo
HEARTBROKEN: Alanna Kennedy (right) and a Matildas team mate react after losing to Norway on Sunday morning. Picture: Thibault Camus/AP Photo

Rosemeadow's Alanna Kennedy has thanked Australians for their loyal support after the Matildas were knocked out of the 2019 World Cup.

The Matildas lost to Norway 4-1 on penalties in their round of 16 clash on Sunday morning in the FIFA Women's World Cup in France.

The game finished at 1-all at the end of normal time.

Isabell Herlovsen scored Norway's goal in the 31st minute.

The Matildas took until the 83rd minute to respond through Elise Kellond-Knight.

The match went into extra time and a controversial moment occurred in the 103rd minute when Kennedy received a red card.

The referee ruled that the key defender deliberately dragged down opponent Lisa-Marie Karlseng Utland.

The score remained at 1-all after extra time, before Norway won on penalties.

Kennedy, 24, took to social media to express her disappointment at losing. However, she wrote that she couldn't be more proud to be Australian.

"Not much I can say other than express how much I love this team and playing for my country," she wrote.

"Nothing will ever compare. It hurts to be leaving earlier than planned, but we appreciate all the support we have received.

"Thank you all."

The Matildas headed into Sunday's must-win match in impressive form.

The side lost its opening game 2-1 to Italy, before bouncing back to record wins over Brazil (3-2) and Jamaica (4-1).

The Aussies came from 2-0 down to beat Brazil, while the Jamaican win was highlighted by four goals from captain Sam Kerr.

The Australian squad also included Camden-born player Amy Harrison.

Not much I can say other than express how much I love this team and playing for my country.

Alanna Kennedy

Kennedy told the Advertiser last Friday that the Matildas were well prepared for the Norway contest.

"We prepare for every opponent, but we [mainly] focus on what we can do," Kennedy said.

"We feel relaxed and focused."

Kennedy said the Matildas players had ignored "outside noise" and had shown "character" in their two World Cup wins.

"We never doubted ourselves and we've only grown from game to game," the defender said.

"We have a strong mentality, I never felt we'd lose against Brazil or Jamaica."

Kennedy said the Matildas had received amazing support, from back home in Australia and also in France.

"There's been a lot of green and gold jerseys in the stands," she said.

"That support makes such a difference and motivates us to do everyone proud.

"It's nice to have that support back home and it's great to see so many people talking about the game."

THANK YOU: Rosemeadow's Alanna Kennedy (centre) and her Australian team mates acknowledge their Matildas spectators. Picture: Francisco Seco/AP Photo

THANK YOU: Rosemeadow's Alanna Kennedy (centre) and her Australian team mates acknowledge their Matildas spectators. Picture: Francisco Seco/AP Photo

Kennedy told the Advertiser last month that it was a great honour to represent Australia.

"The World Cup is obviously the pinnacle of our sport. It means so much to me to represent my country," she said.

Kennedy said she became interested in soccer from a tender age and said she always wanted to play for her country.

"I've been lucky in my career, it's been my only dream [to represent Australia] - I had no real plan B," she said.

"I've rode the wave of being a female footballer, but it's been a pretty smooth journey overall."