Matildas World Cup Hero Courtnee Vine Pulls Out Of Upcoming Olympic Qualifiers Against Uzbekistan

Australia’s most popular sporting team, the Matildas, have been hit with another devastating blow, announcing that Courtnee Vine has pulled out of the squad for their next Olympic Qualifying match.

Courtnee Vine became a household name when she scored the winning penalty in the historic Australia V France match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

After an incredibly nerve-racking 20+ minutes of penalty shoot-outs, where the Tillies and France took 10 shots each, Vine converted the last shot to bring Australia the win, and proceed to the Semi Finals for the first time ever.

Let’s relive it once more hey?

@michellemorristv Cortnee Vine makes Australian football history 💚💛 #FIFAWWC #WWC#CortneeVine#Matildas#Penalties#SydneyFC ♬ Outro – M83

Alas, the legendary moment that was “Vine Time” will not be repeating in the next two Matildas matches, as the iconic midfielder pulled out from playing in the upcoming games against Uzbekistan for personal reasons.

Filling in Vine’s boots will be forward for Western Sydney Wanderers, Sophie Harding, who’s off to a cracking season herself so far with nine goals to her name already.

Harding will have a week to get ready, before representing Australia in Tashkent against Uzbekistan on Saturday February 24. Then again just four days later at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium on Wednesday February 28.

Harding shared her excitement for being selected to play with the Matildas in a video shared by her club online, stating that she found out while she was on a 10 hour shift!

“It’s obviously extremely exciting. It’s something I’ve dreamt about for a very long time. I think I was very overwhelmed. I actually burst out laughing because I was so shocked in a way. And then I think I got a bit teary and then rang my mum and Robbie [Hooker, her squad coach] and they were all so excited,” shared the newest Matilda.

Busy weeks ahead! Best of luck to Harding and all other beloved Tillies!

And best of luck to Courtnee Vine, who will always be a Hero with a capital H.

Along with Courtnee Vine, Matildas’ striker and captain Sam Kerr is also still absent due to an injury she sustained in a training camp for her club Chelsea. It is not yet certain when Kerr will return.