Kyah Simon’s 80th minute strike broke the deadlock in the round of 16 game between Australia and Brazil at Moncton on Sunday. The Matildas pulled off an upset victory to clinch a quarterfinal berth in the Women’s World Cup for the third straight time.
Australia now await the winners of the tie between the Netherlands and Japan in Edmonton in the last eight phase in their bid to make it to the semifinals for the first time.
Full-backs Caitlin Foord and Steph Catley provided blood in the Aussie attack from both the flanks. Though a tactical game in the first session witnessed no openings. Formiga’s brilliant long-ranger was parried by Australian Goal-keeper Lydia Williams. Brazil took a number of threatening long-rangers, but Williams held her nerves to keep the score-sheet blank.
After the breather, rain came down and both sides played more direct football. Australia had a sigh of relief as Formiga pounced on loose marking to meet a corner but her header hit the post. From a rapid counter attack Van Egmond shot wide. Katrina Gorry and Kyah Simon came in as substitutes in the second half and combined to notch up the late-winner.
Katrina Gorry’s defense-splitting pass found skipper Lisa De Vanna in the right, whose left-footed shot was fumbled by Brazilian custodian Luciana. Simon running in the far-post slammed the rebound home. The Australians managed to hold on for the last ten minutes against a flat Brazilian attack to pull off the biggest upset of the tournament. Previously they reached the last eight phase when the World Cup comprised of 16 teams; now they have made it in the extended version, which features 24 teams. The final whistle sparked wild celebration in the Aussie camp.