Matildas’ World Cup icon receives hero’s welcome on return to A-Leagues: ‘Look at this effect’

Matildas star Cortnee Vine receives hero's welcome at Allianz Stadium

It’s been an incredible two months in the life of Cortnee Vine, who on Saturday night was recognised for her World Cup heroics with a resounding ovation prior to her club’s Liberty A-League season opener.

Vine became a Matildas icon during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, scoring the decisive penalty watched by millions around the country to confirm a shootout victory over France in the quarter-finals.

Two months and two days on from the spot kick that sent the Matildas to the final four of the World Cup, Vine was back in Sky Blue as Sydney FC kicked off their 2023-24 Liberty A-League season against Western Sydney Wanderers at Allianz Stadium.

Before kick-off, Vine cast her eyes around the ground as thousands of fans filled the stands, and told Network 10: “Look at this effect right now – I think the Matildas had a big one.”

Then came a special moment for Vine, who emerged from the tunnel to a guard of honour and a special pre-game presentation, met with an incredible reception from a crowd featuring plenty of green and gold kits mixed among Sydney FC blue, and the red and black of the Wanderers.

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Vine was celebrated shortly after Central Coast Mariners’ signing Kyah Simon received a similar welcome in Gosford, returning to the Liberty A-League for the new season after taking part in the Matildas squad at the World Cup.

The celebrations are set to continue throughout Round 1 of the Liberty A-League as players returning from the World Cup to clubs scattered around the competition are recognised for their efforts at the major tournament, hosted in Australia and New Zealand.

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