Substitute Kyah Simon's 80th minute goal proved the difference as Australia defeated Brazil 1-0 to qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup quarter finals.

In a tight and tense encounter in Moncton, the Katrina Gorry, Lisa De Vanna and Simon combined late to provide the moment of quality that decided the match.

It was Australia's first win in a knock out match, men's or women's, and their first win over Brazil.

A tactical and cagey first half saw Brazil come out of the blocks well with Marta and Formiga providing the drive.

Formiga had the Brazilians best chance of the half when she unleashed a swirling strike from distance which was met equally well by Lydia Williams' fingertips to push it over the crossbar.

Australia's best chance came through a set piece with Sam Kerr getting onto the end of Emily van Egmond's corner kick only to volley into the side netting, just inches wide of a spectacular opener.

The second half saw Brazil start well once again and on 60 minutes the game ignited.

First Marta wormed her way into the penalty area before driving a ball to the near post with Williams getting down low quickly to parry away for a corner.

The first corner was cleared but the second saw Formiga rise high only to see her header hit the inside of the post and out to the relief of Australian supporters.

With the rain coming fast, Stajcic made the subsitutions of Gorry and Simon with it paying dividends 10 minutes from time.

Gorry played through a brilliant ball to the run of De Vanna. The captain cut inside before striking a ball which Brazilian 'keeper Luciana could only palm into the path of Simon who turned it home.

Next up for Australia is a return to Edmonton where they will face the winner of Japan and the Netherlands early on Sunday morning (AEST).