Canada’s 2023 World Cup campaign has ended at the group stage following a 4-0 loss to Australia.
The defeat left Canada on four points from their three group fixtures, with Australia and Nigeria progressing from Group B at their expense.
It marks the first time in Women’s World Cup history that the reigning Olympic champions have been eliminated at the group stage.
A first-half Hayley Raso double and second-half goals from Mary Fowler and Steph Catley saw Australia to victory at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.
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Raso converted Steph Catley’s teasing cross inside the opening 10 minutes to put the co-hosts ahead, with the goal initially ruled out for offside before VAR intervened.
The winger bundled home from a corner to double Australia’s advantage six minutes before the break and Fowler flicked Caitlin Foord’s cross in off the post in the second half to put the game beyond Canada.
Catley added a fourth from the penalty spot in stoppage time after Jessie Fleming had been penalised for a foul on Katrina Gorry.
The result is Australia’s biggest margin of victory in a Women’s World Cup match and saw them top Group B after Nigeria were help by Republic of Ireland in the group’s other fixture
Canada’s destiny had been in their own hands heading into their final group fixture, but they faced an Australia side who needed to win to guarantee a place in the last-16 and avoid a repeat of fellow co-hosts New Zealand’s group stage exit on Sunday.
Canada were crowned Olympic champions in Tokyo two years earlier after eliminating the USWNT in the semi-finals and beating Sweden on penalties in the gold medal match.
However, Bev Priestman’s side were without key players Desiree Scott and Janine Beckie due to injury for this summer’s World Cup, while Deanne Rose, Nichelle Prince and Jessie Fleming struggled with injury in the build up to the tournament.
Canada were also contending with off-field issues after an ongoing dispute with Canada Soccer over budget cuts to the programme was made public in February. The players released a statement during the tournament announcing that an interim compensation deal had been agreed but adding they were “disappointed to find (ourselves) without a more complete agreement.”
Canada goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan breaks down her distribution and more
(Photo: Will Murray/Getty Images)