CHENGDU, China (AFP) - Captain Cheryl Salisbury scored in injury time to earn Australia a place in the women's World Cup quarter-finals with a 2-2 draw against Canada here Thursday.
Australia needed a share of the points to book their ticket, but it looked like it would be Canada who would go through with a win after striker Christine Sinclair scored a late header to make it 2-1.
Sinclair's 85th-minute goal, from a corner, was a sickening blow to the Australians but they never gave up and Salisbury was there to score the crucial equaliser after 92 minutes.
Lisa De Vanna, the second-half substitute who has scored three goals in three games during this World Cup, broke into Canada's half and sent over a perfect cross for her captain to shoot home.
The point earns Australia the second qualifying spot in the group with Norway taking the top spot following their 7-2 win against already eliminated Ghana.
Australia beat Ghana 4-1 in their opening game last week for their first World Cup win in 12 years then drew 1-1 with former world champions Norway.
Canada lost 2-1 to Norway in their opener but beat Ghana 4-0 in their second tie.
Canada were 1-0 up with just a minute gone after Melissa Tancredi shot cleanly past Australian 'keeper Melissa Barbieri in their first attack of the game after Sinclair created the chance with a back header.
Australia had to wait for the equaliser but were back on level terms with a superb free-kick from midfield general Collette McCallum after 53 minutes.
The Australians, who have been eliminated in the first round of the last three World Cups, were looking sharper and more dangerous throughout the match.
But it was Canada, semi-finalists four years ago, who went ahead through captain Sinclair's brilliant header with just five minutes to go.
But her opposite Salisbury last word with her 92nd minute strike levelling the score at 2-2.
The match was supposed to have been played Wednesday but was delayed until Thursday following a scheduling reshuffle due to Typhoon Wipha.
Prior to this match the sides have met 13 times in the past, sharing honours with six wins and a draw.
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