Australia beat Canada in the FIFA Women’s World Cup “Group of Death” do-or-die match that few saw coming Monday at Melbourne’s Rectangular Stadium.

Co-host Australia was under pressure after a shock loss to Nigeria and still without injured captain and scoring threat Sam Kerr. Olympic gold medalist Canada was trying to find an offensive rhythm after just two goals in two matches, and they needed at least a draw to move forward.

A determined Australia effort found the right answers in a 4-0 rout that placed the Matildas at the top of Group B and eliminated Canada.

Australia, incidentally, as the most publicly out gay, lesbian, bi, trans and queer athletes at the World Cup of any team.

The seed of the rout was set in Australia’s midfield and defense setting a tone early. Katrina Gorry and Ellie Carpenter, two of the Matilda’s tournament-high 10 out athletes, drew the assignment of marking Canada’s forwards, including one of the best strikers in the game in Christine Sinclair. They helped hold the Canadians to two shots on goal in the first half.

The defensive pressure also started the Australian counter attack and set up Hayley Raso to open up the scoring a right-footed strike in traffic in the 9th minute. She also scored in the 39th minute as Australia led at halftime 2-0.

Sam Kerr (middle) was leading the cheers as Hayley Raso punched through the first goal on the way to a confident win for an Australia side some were unsure about a few days ago

Canada head coach Bev Priestman — one of the few out coaches at the tournament — used four of the team’s five subs to start the second half to try to build some momentum, including subbing Sinclair out in what could be her final Women’s World Cup match.

Fresher, faster legs couldn’t dent Australia’s defensive posture. When they managed to get a chance at keeper MacKenzie Arnold, they were turned back starting with a screamer from Canadian forward Deanne Rose that Arnold knocked out of play with her foot. It was best chance Canada had up to that point, and first of three saves for Arnold.

The loss was a dubious piece of history for the Canadians. Just two years after their surprise run to the Olympic gold, which included a victory over the United States, Canada was the first defending Olympic Champ to miss a Women’s World Cup knockout round.

Quinn was fully healthy for the World Cup and it showed in the amount of minutes, but a repeat of the Olympics was ended by Australia

The loss closed the curtain on Quinn’s tournament as well. Injury concerns limited their playing time as part of the Olympic triumph in 2021. Quinn, the first-ever trans nonbinary participant in Women’s World Cup, was healthy for this tournament and played the full 90 minutes against Nigeria and Ireland.

They were subbed out after 77 minutes Tuesday after contending with Australia’s relentless pace. Australia’s second goal was set up by a corner kick that bounced off Quinn and set neatly for Raso to score on. In the 76th minute, Quinn zeroed in with an header off of a cross that snuffed out by two defenders.

Australia’s fans were relieved by the win after an uncertain group stage and questions about the team and head coach Tony Gustavsson, who was heavily criticized after the 3-2 loss to Nigeria. Gustavsson noted that team’s response to having to play without Kerr was a reason why they are advancing to the knockout round.

“Part of the reason that this team was so united and performed the way they did was something Sam said to the team: ‘Make sure you win without me so I can get another week to rest and train,” Gustavsson said in the post match presser. “The team responded and you could see the conviction and commitment. Having that belief as a team with the best striker in the world, which think Sam is, and still play the fluid football we did I think is very impressive.”

As for Sam Kerr, she was available if needed Monday but cheering a solid team win from the bench. Kerr will be on the pitch for the knockout round ahead, but surrounded by a team that survived without her. Such makes Australia a difficult side to contend with going forward.