Tokyo Olympics: GB ‘devastated’ by exit

Tokyo Olympics: GB ‘devastated’ by exit

Great Britain women’s footballers are “devastated” after their extra-time quarter-final defeat by Australia at the Tokyo Olympics, says head coach Hege Riise.

Chelsea striker Sam Kerr scored twice for Australia as Ellen White’s hat-trick for GB was not enough to prevent a 4-3 defeat at the Kashima Stadium.

GB went out at the same stage at London 2012.

“It’s hard to lose a game like this. We were well prepared,” said Riise.

“We [played] most of the game quite well. We created a lot of chances but we should probably have finished a few of them. Now it’s just hard.”

Riise, who won Olympic gold as a player with Norway in 2000, said there was “no-one to blame” after Caroline Weir had a penalty saved in extra time with the score 2-2.

Australia immediately went 3-2 up through Mary Fowler, before Kerr headed in a fourth.

White grabbed a third as GB pushed for a late equaliser, but the Manchester City striker fell to her knees at full-time.

“We win and lose together,” said Riise. “We stood up and fought together and it wasn’t enough from any of us.

“We’re disappointed, more so that we couldn’t get the fourth goal and we didn’t get to penalties.”

‘It hits you like a train’

Former GB goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis told BBC Radio 5 Live the defeat was “heartbreaking” and it “made me feel sick”.

“International football is often divided by clutch moments – the two saves by Teagan Micah and that penalty miss from Weir,” she said.

Former Great Britain forward Karen Carney added: “It is massively disappointing for Team GB. They were unbelievable in the group stages but this is where it counts.

“You have to give a lot of credit to Australia. They managed the game well and there were some fantastic saves from the goalkeeper that kept them in it.”

GB defender Leah Williamson said the disappointment “hits like a train”.

“One thing I’ve learned in the short international career that I’ve had so far is that nothing is ever really over until that final whistle blows,” she said.

“To score after going 4-2 down showed so much character so I didn’t think it was out of reach, which makes it harder because it hits you like a train at the end.

“We didn’t just want to come here and celebrate being Olympians. We wanted gold. We wanted to win.”

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