Sam Kerr and Australia look to open World Cup with a win

Sam Kerr hopes there will be plenty reasons to flip for this Women’s World Cup.

But even if Australia’s prolific scorer known for backflip celebrations doesn’t find the back of the net, she’d happily take a trophy instead.

“Every time I step on the field I want to score for my country, but to do it in a World Cup would be a dream come true,” Kerr said. “I haven’t done that. But I feel like I’m a different player this World Cup, I feel like I’m a different person. I feel like I’m better prepared, I know more about the game, I know more about my own game. And I feel like I’m just smarter.

“Look, if I don’t score and we win the World Cup I’m going to be happy. It’s not about me, this World Cup, it’s about the team.”

Australia opens the tournament on Sunday with a match against Italy in Valenciennes.

This will be Kerr’s third World Cup, after making her senior team debut in 2009 at age 15. She’s appeared in 77 games for Australia with 31 goals — but never one on the sport’s biggest stage.

In 2015, the Matildas advanced to the round of 16 and beat Brazil 1-0. It marked the first time that an Australian team, men or women, had won in the knockout stage. Japan, which went on to play…

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