We’re still reeling from last night’s incredible performance from the Matildas in the Women’s World Cup semi-final, yet tragic end to their Cup dreams.

It’s not the first and certainly won’t be the last upset for a nation that lives and breathes sport and competitiveness on a global stage.

With all the intense fervour and hype around the Matildas World Cup run, let’s look back at some other heartbreaking moments in Australian sporting history:

Men’s Rugby World Cup Final 2003

Another historic moment of an Australian/England rivalry, the Brits were the first Northern Hemisphere team to win the tournament, ending 16 years of Southern Hemisphere dominance.

In a physical and closely contested match, England’s Jonny Wilkinson’s iconic drop goal in extra time became one of the most memorable moments in rugby history.


Men’s Rugby League World Cup 2008

In one of the greatest upsets in the history of sport, New Zeleand defeated a star-studded Australian team 34-20 to claim their first ever World Cup title.

While it was a devastating loss for the Kangaroos, New Zealand’s triumph against the odds will be hard to forget.

Women’s Hockey World Cup Semi Final 2018

In 2018, the Australian Womens Hockey squad faced up against an absolute powerhouse in women’s field hockey in the Netherlands team.


With the Dutch were a clear favourite going in, an Australian equaliser late into the second half took the game to penalties, displaying both team’s exceptional skill and determination.

Women’s Netball World Cup 2019

In a thrilling match, New Zealand stunned the 11-time champions Australia to win the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool.

The final was tense throughout and came down to the dying seconds and just one goal, with the Kiwis emerging triumphant with a score of 52-51.


We celebrate the Matildas and reflect on their incredible impact on women’s sport on The Christian O’Connell Show:

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