Just Women’s Sports is here with your daily World Cup Digest, breaking down all of the biggest storylines from each day of action in Australia and New Zealand.
Australia entered its final group-stage match against Canada on the brink of elimination. But even before halftime, the Matildas silenced any doubts about their chances to advance in their home World Cup en route to an emphatic 4-0 win.
Hayley Raso had a brace before the half to put her team up 2-0. A third would-be goal for Australia was ruled offside on a VAR review. And the goals didn’t stop coming after the half, with Mary Fowler and Stephanie Catley both adding their names to the scoresheet.
While Australia held possession for just 38% of the match, the lopsided win put the World Cup co-hosts through to the knockout stage. Canada was eliminated with the loss, while Nigeria will advance as the runner-up from Group B.
Australia star Sam Kerr, who missed the first two matches with a calf injury, was available but did not feature in the victory. She will have another week to get rested and ready for the Round of 16, which kicks off Saturday.
Canada captain Christine Sinclair paused to pick blades of grass as she exited the pitch after the loss to Australia, which brought to an end her sixth career World Cup appearance.
“It’s the end of the World Cup and I’m probably not going to play in another one,” the 40-year-old told TSN’s Claire Hanna. “I’m leaving the pitch one last time in a World Cup.”
Sinclair reflected on her team and their journey together while speaking with TSN after the match.
“We go through everything together,” she said. “Winning and losing, it’s all part of the game. It’s why we love this sport. We’ve always said we’re a family, and we do it together. Whether we win an Olympic gold medal or lose in the group stage of a World Cup, we do it together.”
An emotional Christine Sinclair speaks with @clahanna following Canada's exit from the Women's World Cup. #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/C0WWZZMIrE— TSN (@TSN_Sports) July 31, 2023
An emotional Christine Sinclair speaks with @clahanna following Canada's exit from the Women's World Cup. #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/C0WWZZMIrE