Matildas’ midfielder Katrina Gorry has shared the touching meaning behind her penalty kick celebration during Australia’s quarter-final win over France.
With the match persisting to a penalty shootout, Gorry converted Australia’s sixth penalty before rocking her arms in celebration and pointing to the sky.
With the gesture resembling rocking a baby to sleep, it was assumed the commemoration was a tribute to Gorry’s three-year-old daughter Harper. However, Gorry revealed that the act also honoured another family member.
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“My fiancée’s dad passed away a couple of nights ago. So, it was for both of them,” she told media post-match.
Gorry’s fiancée, Swedish footballer Clara Markstedt, was forced to return to her homeland following the Matildas’ 4-0 drubbing of Canada.
Fighting back tears in the mixed zone, Gorry said it had been a difficult few days.
“It’s been a tough 48 hours for me. But it was a nice night to [honour] them,” she said.
“My head’s been a bit everywhere, but I know that I have full support, not just here, but I know her family in Sweden too and I just wanted to play for him and make him proud.”
The Matildas donned black armbands for their fixture against France while Gorry also paid homage with words written across the tape on her wrist.
Gorry confessed that it had been difficult not being able to support her fiancée.
“I’m glad she’s there [in Sweden] with her family but I definitely wish I could be there for her,” she said.
Gorry and Markstedt got engaged in June.
In light of the tragedy, Gorry had another strong showing which the 30-year-old capped by sneaking a penalty past the French goalkeeper.
“Football is my happy place, you know, everything just leaves when you get on the field,” she said.
“When you have the girls backing you up every step of the way, you have so much belief so you just keep on going.”
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Reflecting on the match, Gorry said the Matildas trusted that they could overcome anything that stood between them and a ticket to the FIFA Women’s World Cup semi finals.
“It was tough, but every moment we locked eyes with each other we just knew that we had to believe that if it came to it, we’re going to go right to the end,” she said.
“We had the belief in ourselves that we could get through the [penalties] and we could win, and I think you could see it. We were standing together as a group, we never let go of each other. The bench was together. We knew Macca [Arnold] was going to pull off some saves. So, we just had to believe in ourselves.”