Hayley Raso played a starring role as Australia secured their spot in the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Canada, who were eliminated from the competition.
The joint hosts wasted no time in taking the lead, as Raso found the back of the net early on. Despite having Mary Fowler’s effort disallowed for offside, they extended their lead before halftime with another clinical finish from Raso inside the area.
In the second half, Australia continued their dominance, adding a third goal through Fowler. A late penalty converted by Steph Catley sealed their victory and set up a last-16 encounter against the runner-up from Group D, which includes teams like England, Denmark, and China.
Australia broke the deadlock in the ninth minute when Catley delivered a low cross from the wing, finding Raso, who calmly slotted the ball into the net. The goal was initially disallowed for offside but was rightfully awarded after a VAR review, putting the Matildas ahead 1-0.
Raso remained a constant threat to the Canadian defense and nearly doubled Australia’s lead just three minutes later, but her goal-bound strike from inside the area was denied by a great save from Kailen Sheridan.
With 36 minutes gone, Australia thought they had scored their second goal when Fowler capitalized on a goalmouth scramble. However, after another VAR review, the goal was ruled out due to Ellie Carpenter’s offside position and interference with play.
Five minutes later, the Aussies managed to extend their advantage as Kyra Cooney-Cross’s well-curved corner led to chaos in the box, eventually falling to Raso, who confidently hammered home her second goal of the night.
Shortly before the hour mark, Australia made it 3-0 when Caitlin Foord made a perfectly timed run into the channel and set up Fowler to score, this time finding the back of the net via a post.
Australia came close to adding a fourth goal as Fowler showcased her skill, beating three defenders with a left-footed strike that unfortunately hit the post.
In the end, a VAR review awarded Australia a penalty after Jessie Fleming fouled Katrina Gorry in the box. Catley stepped up and converted from the spot, securing Australia’s largest-ever World Cup victory.
With a goalless draw between the Republic of Ireland and Nigeria, the latter advanced to the knockout stages as group runners-up, while Canada failed to qualify, finishing in third place.