2023 Women’s World Cup: Australian Hosts Triumph Over Canada, Advancing to the Last 16 and Keeping the National Dream Alive

Raso elatedly marks her second score in Australia's World Cup match with Canada, 2023.

As the stadium in Melbourne reverberated with the thunderous applause of thousands, the Australian team reveled in their victorious moment. The joyous scenes of Katrina Gorry and Mackenzie Arnold’s jubilant celebrations and Alanna Kennedy’s tears of happiness perfectly captured the significance of the event.

Their triumphant 4-0 win over Canada and securing a spot in the last 16 was more than just a victory; it was Australia’s grand entrance to the party they are hosting.

The Crucial Match: More than Just a Game

The stakes were high for the Australians, as failure to win would have meant following co-hosts New Zealand’s early exit from the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup. This would have been a significant setback for the country’s interest in this home tournament.

The Australian team rose to the occasion. Winning by four goals, a World Cup first for them, couldn’t have come at a better time.

Overcoming Hurdles to Victory

The journey to this point wasn’t an easy one for Australia. Starting with a narrow win against the Republic of Ireland and an unexpected loss to Nigeria, coupled with concerns surrounding the fitness of star player Sam Kerr, the team had its work cut out.

The previous day, they had watched as co-hosts New Zealand bowed out with a lackluster draw against Switzerland. A similar fate for Australia would have been devastating.

Steph Catley from Australia jubilantly marks her fourth goal in the Australia vs Canada Group B match at the 2023 Women's World Cup.

From the early minutes when forward Mary Fowler’s aggressive move against Canada’s defender Kadeisha Buchanan set the tone, the game kept the 27,000-strong Melbourne crowd on their feet. A few highlights were:

  • Hayley Raso’s goal that put Australia in the lead.
  • The controversial disallowance of Mary Fowler’s goal for offside by the VAR.
  • Raso’s second goal, doubling the lead.
  • Steph Catley’s penalty kick that took the score to 4-0, turning Melbourne into a festive arena.

The Path Forward: Drawing Inspiration from England’s Lionesses

With their current success, Australia has the potential to follow in the footsteps of England’s Lionesses, who capitalized on hosting Euro 2022 to clinch a game-changing victory. This sentiment echoes among the fans as well. Even though football often gets overshadowed by other sports in Australia, events like this World Cup are slowly turning the tide. As evidenced by the massive turnouts in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia has shown the Matildas that they have a huge fanbase.

Young Fans, Big Dreams

Even the younger fans share this optimism. Claire Downie, a 16-year-old football enthusiast, commented:

“It’s a great time to be a young woman in football in Australia. From three or four years ago, I’ve seen huge improvements, heaps more people engaged in women’s football over the last few years.”

Building a Legacy for Women’s Football in Australia

While Australia’s women’s national team has a solid history of competing in every World Cup since 1995 and reaching the knockouts for the fifth consecutive time, the domestic landscape paints a different picture. Only two of the 23 players, Cortnee Vine and Clare Hunt, compete in the A-League Women.

However, there’s hope that this World Cup victory will create a legacy for women’s football in Australia. As per predictions made before kick-off, the World Cup could inspire a new generation of children to take up football, having a significant impact on the A-League Women.

For now, the threat of an early exit has been successfully averted, and the Australian party continues. The country awaits with bated breath to see how far the Matildas can go in this tournament.

“They can go all the way. Why not?!” expressed an exuberant fan, encapsulating the high hopes and buoyant spirits across the nation.
Elation among Australian fans as Mary Fowler delivers the team's third goal.

Match statistics Canada vs Australia (0:4) at the 2023 Women’s World Cup

Expected Goals (xG)0.752.78
Ball Possession61%39%
Total Shots1110
Shots on Target37
Shots off Target41
Blocked Shots42
Free Kicks94
Corner Kicks54
Goalkeeper Saves33
Yellow Cards02
Total Passes503305
Completed Passes400208
Dangerous Attacks5242
Football Expert Sam Mollnet
reviewed by: Sam Mollnet (Footbal Expert)

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