From a plane cheer squad to gifted jerseys: The 6 Matildas moments that tugged on our heartstrings.

To catch up on all things Matildas and the 2023 Women's World Cup, check out our hub page here.

Matildas-mania has well and truly swept the nation this past month, and it has been nothing short of extraordinary.

The Tillies have inspired the entire country throughout the FIFA Women's World Cup down under - scoring goals, representing Australia on the world map and showcasing their incredible talents.

Through it all, we've been seeing plenty of viral moments being circulated by millions and millions of fans - many of which have tugged on our already *very* proud heartstrings.

Watch the official trailer Matildas The World At Our Feet. Post continues below. 

Video via Disney+.

So without further ado, here are some of the most memorable and heartwarming moments to come from the Matildas at the Women's World Cup down under.

1. Sam Kerr giving her jersey to a young fan. 

After that iconic quarterfinal between the Matildas and France, Kerr took off her green and gold jersey and handed it to a young fan at Suncorp Stadium.

The whole moment was captured by the TV cameras, the look on the young fan's face absolutely priceless.


As for who the lucky fan is, the jersey went to nine-year-old Zara who was at the game with her family.

Zara told reporters the following day that she's a big soccer fan and plays herself, always dreaming she would meet Sam Kerr.

"I said, 'Sam, can I have the jersey?' and then she gave it to me and I said 'Thank you' and she said, 'You're welcome. Being able to be there live, watching Australia, the Matildas play, it was just a once in a lifetime experience," she said.


2. The moment the Matildas consoled their opponents. 

After their stunning 2-0 win over Denmark on August 7, the Matildas were quick to put their own celebrations on hold to embrace the players on the losing side. 

It was a display of the sportsmanship the world needs to see more of, and the kindness shown quickly went viral online.

⁠Matildas' Defender Ellie Carpenter shared a hug with Danish striker Signe Bruun. Our reserve goalkeeper Teagan Micah also embraced Sanne Troelsgaard of Denmark.


3. The seriously iconic headbands. 

When we first saw many of the Matildas players wearing headbands, we didn't think much from it. But this week, we learned there's a bigger story behind their hair accessories - who would have thought!

Take Hayley Raso, for example. She wears a yellow ribbon in her ponytail, tied in a neat bow.

That's because, since the Matildas winger started playing football, her grandmother would give her a ribbon to match her kit each season - and it's a tradition that stuck. 

"I've worn a ribbon for my whole career. My grandma always matches my ribbon to my kits so she's sent my new ones over for this season. It's pretty cute," Raso said recently. 

Raso's ribbons have become so popular, they inspired a series of children's books called Hayley's Ribbon.

Teammate Ellie Carpenter wears a blue headband during games. But it's not technically a headband. 

The sheer strip of material is, in fact, a thin medical gauze, known as pre-wrap, used to put around injured knees or ankles before adding tape. It has become a popular hair accessory for female athletes after referees wouldn't allow them to wear plastic headbands or clips to pull their hair back due to injury risks. 

To be fair, keeping your hair out of your face during games would be important considering all the running around! 

US player Alex Morgan began wearing pink pre-wrap as a headband so her parents could spot her playing on the field. She later chose the colour to honour her mother-in-law who battled breast cancer.


Ellie Carpenter and Hayley Ruso. Image: Instagram

4. The viral video of all passengers on the plane watching the Matildas.

It wasn't just Aussie stadiums, households, pubs and venues that were full of fans celebrating the quarterfinal win.

Australian TV presenter Jacqueline Felgate shared a video of passengers on a plane watching the exciting encounter between the Matildas and French team.


Nearly every screen was tuned into the match... apart from one person who is watching Lord of the Rings. But we'll just put them to the side.

When Cortnee Vine kicked the winning goal, everyone on the plane erupted into applause. It was quite an iconic moment to capture. Especially considering everyone was watching the match with headphones in - so when Australia won, everyone cheered and the flight attendant was pretty perplexed. 

Now the video has over 28 million views online, and has been shared far and wide. 


5. The goal that had everyone scream-cheering.  

Everyone knows what goal we're talking about. The one that resulted in Australia winning the quarterfinal, following a seriously intense penalty shoot-out. 

Coming off the bench in the 104th minute of the game, Cortnee Vine was the 10th penalty taker. At 25 years old and one of the more junior members of the team, it was Vine who sealed the deal and performed an excellent goal.


Reflecting on that iconic moment, she told reporters that it was the Matildas' goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold who did the hard yards for the Aussie team, and that Vine's goal was the cherry on top.

"I was fortunate enough to be that last penalty kick-taker that now has secured our spot to the semifinals. It's just something that I'd never dreamed of happening and it's just crazy that it happened," she said.


"I did it. I didn't think I would have to do it. I didn't think it was going to get to the 10th penalty taker. I was willing to do whatever the team wanted me to do."

6. Sam Kerr and Keira Walsh clash on the field. 

Moments into the semifinals between England and Australia, the rivalry faded away for just a few mere seconds. 

As the Lionesses and Matildas went head to head in a showdown in Sydney on Wednesday night in the Women's World Cup, Keira Walsh shared a special moment with Sam Kerr. 

Sam Kerr was tackled by Keira Walsh during the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 Semi Final. Image: AAP.


After the no. 4 midfielder clashed with her opponent, she reached out her hand to give Kerr a hand up. 

Seconds later, we saw them slap hands and nod at one another — a moment of recognition and respect that Australia couldn't pass up on praising.


What's for sure is there are more iconic moments to come; at this weekend's match for third place and far, far beyond.

To catch up on all things Matildas and the 2023 Women's World Cup, check out our hub page here.

Feature Image: Twitter/Today

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