Viral video breaks the internet as Australia & the world react to Matildas epic

The Matildas are the toast of Australia this morning after booking their place in the semi-finals of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in a heart stopping penalty shootout victory over France. Here’s some of the reaction from right across the globe.

Box office Matildas smash TV ratings… Again!

Not only have the Matildas made history on the pitch, they have done the same off it.

According to the Seven Network, Australia’s dramatic victory over France was the biggest TV sport program in a decade along with being the largest ever streaming event – with 6.2 million people reached on Seven and 7Plus (according to preliminary data).

An estimated average of 4.17 million people tuned into watch the game, including a national broadcast audience of 3.69 million viewers and 2.62 million in the capital cities – making it the number one TV program of the year.

The estimated average includes the game’s extra time period, which was not captured in the preliminary OzTAM numbers for the game.

MATCH REPORT: A-Leagues hero seals Australia’s semi-final spot – football, bloody hell!
RE-LIVE: Every agonising minute of the Matildas’s epic QF win over France
ANALYSIS: Matildas’ 103rd min move brings new meaning to beloved Aussie football saying
LEGENDS REACT:  Aloisi’s perfect tribute to Matildas as Aussie greats lose it over World Cup epic: ‘I’m happy to be relegated!’

Seven reported an additional 472,000 people tuned in via the 7Plus app.

The game peaked at 4.43 million viewers and dominated its broadcast timeslot, scoring an 81.2% commercial audience share.

According to a Sydney Morning Herald report, OzTAM’s figures stated 2.507 million Aussies in Seven’s five-city metro audience tuned in to watch the match in its original slot, which then rose to 3.045 million during the penalty-shootout. A further 1.186 million watched on in regional Australia.

Incredibly, these figures eclipse all of the AFL and NRL grand finals in the last two decades, Ash Barty’s 2022 Australian Open win, the Wallabies’ 2003 Rugby World Cup Final defeat to England and Lleyton Hewitt’s loss in the 2005 Australian Open final.

The match still sits behind Cathy Freeman’s 400-metre final at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, which reportedly attracted 8.8 million TV viewers, which made it the most-watched Aussie sporting event – although OzTAM didn’t track ratings for the event at the time.

Melbourne had the biggest share of the nation’s audience out of all the capital cities with 984,000 people tuning in, ahead of Sydney’s 931,000 and 513,000 in Brisbane.

Incredibly, the true number could be significantly higher as OzTAM don’t consider out-of-home viewing at live sites, sporting clubs, pubs and restaurants.

Listen to the latest episode of KEEPUP’s Dub at the Cup for a full review of a historic night in Brisbane!

Where in the world were people watching the game?

It’s fair to say, Australia is gripped by Matildas fever.

The live sites popped off across the nation when Cortnee Vine buried the winning penalty.

Fans tuned in even while being thousands of feet in the air as shown in the below video posted by sports journalist Jacqui Felgate on X. Everyone was engrossed… except for that one person watching the end of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

Her video sustained a whopping 16.3 million views on X, along with over 50k likes, 6.3k reposts and 2.2k quotes.

Meanwhile, fans congregated inside the MCG’s bars to watch the penalty shootout during the blockbuster Saturday night clash between Carlton and Melbourne in the AFL.

The Matildas match was initially being shown on the big screens prior to the game, but was switched off as the opening bounce neared – which had already been pushed back to 7:30 PM (AEST) to ensure there wouldn’t be a clash.

However, after the game went to extra time and penalties, it overlapped with the scheduled start of the game.

Not that it stopped the thousands of fans inside the ‘G from finding a smaller screen to catch the wild finish in Brisbane!

Even the Triple M and Seven AFL call teams were completely swept up in the shootout!

Kilometres away from all the action in Brisbane, Adelaide Crows and Brisbane Lions coaches Matthew Nicks and Chris Fagan delayed their post-game press conferences at the Gabba to watch the finish.

Over in the west, fans were sent into delirium at Optus Stadium during the pre-game warm-ups before the derby between West Coast Eagles and Fremantle as the Matildas booked their place in the semis.

Fans also stuck around after Sydney Swans’ win over Gold Coast to catch the game on the SCG big screens.

It was the same at the NBL1 Grand Final, where players were left stunned when fans erupted mid-game!

A host of professional sporting teams from across the nation congregated to watch the game together as well. Although, the Western Bulldogs had some difficulties getting the stream to work!

Meanwhile, on the latest episode of KEEPUP’s Dub at the Cup, Melbourne City’s Bryleeh Henry detailed the lengths she went to in order to find a clear vantage point of the penalty shootout at the live site outside Stadium Australia.

“I sprinted from one side of the grandstand over there to the other because the other screen was in front and I climbed a tree to watch it,” she said.

“So my pants are ruined, but it was worth it!”

How the papers reacted

Ange Postecoglou famously said: “I want to wake up tomorrow morning, and in the papers they’re not talking about the next AFL player who f**king farted or a f**king NRL player who did something stupid…

“I want them talking about our f***king game, I want them talking about us!”

Well, Ange got his wish! The Matildas DOMINATED the back-pages of all the major mastheads.

How social media reacted to the incredible victory

As expected… Twitter (now known as X) blew up in the aftermath of the game. Here’s some of the best reaction from fans, politicians and sports stars alike.

Injured Matilda Elise Kellond-Knight, however, had a nice little response for Mr Albanese.

What are the world saying about us?!

Australia’s next opponent, England secured a place in the semi with a come-from-behind win over Colombia later in the night at the same venue they’ll face the Matildas on Wednesday.

The Daily Mail’s Ian Herbert weighed in on where the Lionesses’ stand going into the contest, after surviving a stern test from the South Americans.

“With Sam Kerr, Mary Fowler and Caitlin Foord on the horizon, Millie Bright and Alex Greenwood’s revelatory partnership should sustain our optimism. Without the two interventions Greenwood made late on, the Aussies might not even be considering the Poms today,” he said.

“Australia have retained the Ashes and beaten England in netball’s World Cup final, but a win for those in yellow and green three days from now would surpass all of that.”

“Sarina Wiegman expressed puzzlement with journalists’ talk of this rivalry and said she would ask her players about it. ‘It’s probably going to be bigger than I imagined!’ she said. Yes. You could probably say that.”

BBC’s Emma Smith was at Brisbane Stadium and summed up the emotion of the night perfectly.

“The sheer emotions felt in Australia were demonstrated in the roars of the capacity Brisbane Stadium crowd when the game began, when captain Sam Kerr was sent on as a second half sub, when Vine scored the winning penalty,” she said.

“The sound of nearly 50,000 Australians singing Down Under by Men at Work after that spot-kick may have been cliched, but it also raised goosebumps.

“It could have all ended so very differently. France dominated the first half of normal time against a nervous Australian side and should have scored at least once.

“But they failed to capitalise, allowed the hosts to regain confidence and ultimately triumph in a manner which can only supercharge belief that they are destined to be only the second ever hosts to win a Women’s World Cup, after USA 24 years ago.”

Australia are certainly set to have the backing of the entire nation behind them when they take the field in a matter of days at Stadium Australia.

And although there will be millions of Aussies glued to their screens and thousands in the terraces and live sites across the country willing the Matildas to victory… we will also have the backing of one more as a result of a cheeky bet!