Rosemeadow's Alanna Kennedy stars in Matildas victory

Joy and relief: Alanna Kennedy takes to the ground to celebrate her Olympic goal against Great Britain. Picture: Fernando Vergara/AP
Joy and relief: Alanna Kennedy takes to the ground to celebrate her Olympic goal against Great Britain. Picture: Fernando Vergara/AP

More than two million Aussies tuned in to watch the Matildas defeat Great Britain in their must-win Olympic quarter final on Friday.

That's two million people who now know the name Alanna Kennedy.

Kennedy, from Rosemeadow, scored the opening goal of the clash, netting a perfect header in the 35th minute.

The goal would have exorcised some demons for the former Macarthur Rams and Campbelltown Cobras player, who missed a vital penalty shot at the Rio Olympics in 2016, which saw the Matildas eliminated from the tournament.

Her jubilation and relief was evident in Tokyo, the defender diving to the ground to in celebration, surrounded by her overjoyed teammates.

The 4-3 victory - which saw the Aussies have to play 30 minutes of extra time - has set up a semi-final clash with Sweden tonight.

The Matildas will take on their Swedish rivals after having already met in the group stage. The game kicks off at 9pm, Sydney time, and can be viewed on Seven.

Champion: Kennedy gets some encouragement from Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson. Picture: Fernando Vergara/AP

Champion: Kennedy gets some encouragement from Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson. Picture: Fernando Vergara/AP

If Australia beats Sweden, the team is guaranteed either a gold or silver medal. They will face the winner of the semi-final between USA and Canada.

However, a medal is not off the table if the Matildas are defeated tonight. The loser of the clash will go on to face the loser of the other semi-final, to play for the bronze medal.

The Aussies will be tired after their mammoth outing against the Brits, but will be filled with a fire to defeat the Swedes after losing to them in the group stage.

If the Matildas should come up against the Americans following tonight's semi, they will be looking to go one better than the group stage, where the match ended in a nil-all draw.

Aussie captain Sam Kerr has been on fire, scoring several goals throughout the tournament, including two against Team GB.

Goal-keeper Teagan Micah has also become a national hero, saving several on-target goal attempts in the last match.

This story Rosemeadow's Alanna Kennedy stars in Matildas victory first appeared on Wollondilly Advertiser.