Sydney FC’s Kyah Simon – on as a substitute – scored the decisive goal 10 minutes from time in Moncton to send the Matildas into the quarter-finals for the third time in a row. It was nonetheless an historic victory; the tournament has been expanded this year, and this was the first knockout win for an Australian side – either men or women – in any World Cup.
Australia will now play either the Netherlands or defending champions Japan in Edmondton as they bid to reach the semi-finals for the first time.
The Matildas had finished second behind the USA in their group, with Sweden in third and NIgeria fourth. Brazil, meanwhile, topped their group after defeating Spain, South Korea and Costa Rica without conceding a goal.
In the first half Australia were indebted to goalkeeper Lydia Williams for a stunning one-handed save as she turned Formiga’s powerful long-range effort over the bar. Brazil pressed forward in rainy conditions in the second half, but Australia swooped to land the decisive blow after 80 minutes.
Katrina Gorry’s superb crossfield ball released skipper Lisa De Vanna on the right; her shot was fumbled by Brazilian keeper Luciana, and 23-year-old Simon raced into to calmly slot the loose ball into the far corner and seal a glorious victory.
Host nation Canada will face either England or Norway in the quarter-finals after beating Switzerland 1-0 in the last 16.