Sam Kerr’s brace fired Australia to a dramatic 4-3 victory to dump Team GB out of the Olympics following a pulsating Quarter-Final encounter at Kashima Stadium, Tokyo, Japan.
Alanna Kennedy headed Australia into a first half lead after thumping in from a 34th minute corner after leaping above Demi Stokes.
Ellen White then netted twice in nine minutes to put Team GB in front as she first headed in a 56th minute equaliser, before firing in from a poor clearance by Kennedy.
Kerr struck from close-range in the 89th minute to force extra time before wrapping up an eventual 4-3 victory in the 106th minute, following a stunning strike from substitute, Mary Fowler despite White netting a late header for Team GB to net her hat-trick.
Australia will now face Sweden after the 2019 FIFA World Cup Third-Placed finishers defeated Japan 3-1 in the other Quarter-Final in the top half of the knockout draw.
USA meanwhile overcame Netherlands 4-2 on penalties following a 2-2 draw to set up a semi-final against Canada, after the Canadians defeated Brazil 4-3 on penalties upon completion of a goalless draw.
Both teams made a scrappy attacking start with high pressure but it was Australia’s Hayley Raso who conceded the first foul, following a fourth minute tackle on Lauren Hemp with the resulting free-kick cleared to Keira Walsh whose shot was saved by Teagan Micah.
Hemp eight minutes later delivered a rapid cut-in from the left to play a chipped pass across to Rachel Daly who fired over the bar.
Daly then volleyed over the bar two minutes later before Walsh too wasted a second shot after picking up Hemp’s pass, yet could only strike the left post as Australia soon afterwards enjoyed a spell of attacking pressure to little success.
Team GB saw three goalscoring opportunities go begging in the 23rd minute as Daly whipped in a cross from the left which unintentionally swung towards goal, only to bounce off the crossbar to Hemp whose shot was blocked by Micah.
Leah Williamson then picked up the initial clearance of the resulting corner but her long-range strike was blocked and cleared.
Australia soon afterwards enjoyed further pressure and Kerr was able to intercept a poor pass, triggering a counter-attack which was halted by Demi Stokes.
Caitlin Foord swung in the consequent corner which found Kennedy who rose above Demi Stokes to smash a header into the bottom left corner, despite Ellie Roebuck making a desperate dive to try and save the shot to give Australia the lead which they held into half-time.
Australia continued their high attacking energy early in the second half with an early corner which was cleared, before Kyah Simon headed Raso’s cross into Roebuck arms three minutes later.
Kerr then missed a chance in the 52nd minute as she rifled over the bar on a quick turn inside the box surrounded by Team GB defenders.
Hemp meanwhile saw a 51st minute foul inside the box controversially ruled as not worthy of a penalty before seeing a shot saved by Micah five minutes later, having cut in from the right.
The 20 year-old however turned assistant just one minute later as she again cut in from the right, this time finding White to head in across into the bottom left corner beyond Micah.
Team GB three minutes later survived a scare as Steph Houghton almost bundled a cross into her own goal, only for the ball to luckily go over the bar.
White completed Team GB’s comeback in the 66th minute after intercepting a loose backheel flicked clearance from Kennedy to fire across into the bottom right corner, via a deflection from Micah.
Both teams thereafter traded chances with Hemp enjoying the best chance in the 84th minute, as she spotted Micah out of position and tried a long-range overhead strike, only to bend her shot just wide of top right corner.
Australia proceeded to punish that error four minutes later as a delivery into the box found Kerr who was able to calmly get the ball under control and rifle in under Houghton’s legs and beyond Roebuck’s reach to force extra time.
Team GB enjoyed a dominant first half of extra time as Walsh and White both saw chances denied by Micah before Parris came on as a substitute in the 97th minute, only to draw a foul from Ellie Carpenter minutes later to give Team GB a penalty.
Caroline Weir stepped up but her left-footed strike towards bottom right corner was saved by Micah, with Australia then charging up the other end as Mary Fowler picked up a pass and smashed into the top right corner via deflection from Lucy Bronze to put the Aussies in front two minutes before the break.
Upon the start of second half of extra time, Australia made a lightning start as Kerr headed in from a cross to give Australia a two goal lead, which also saw her become the Matildas’ joint record goalscorer in all competitions with 47 goals.
Team GB however maintained relentless pressure as White netted her hat-trick from a looped cross by Fran Kirby, although Australia eventually clung on to snatch victory in a seven goal thriller and deny Team GB a first Olympics semi-final.
Team GB: Ellie Roebuck, Lucy Bronze (Stanway112′), Steph Houghton, Leah Williamson, Demi Stokes (Bright 58′), Kiera Walsh (Ingle 97′), Caroline Weir, Rachel Daly (Kirby 58′), Kim Little (Scott 80′), Ellen White, Lauren Hemp (Parris 96′)
Substitutes: Carly Telford, Millie Bright, Sophie Ingle, Jill Scott, Georgia Stanway, Fran Kirby, Nikita Parris
Australia: Teagan Micah, Ellie Carpenter, Alanaa Kennedy, Aivi Luik (Gielnik 80′), Hayley Raso (Logarzo 88′), Emily van Egmond, Tameka Yallop, Steph Catley, Kyah Simon (Fowler 80′), Sam Kerr, Caitlin Foord (Cooney-Cross 80′, Polkinghorne 108′)
Substitutes: Lydia Williams, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Clare Polkinghorne, Chloe Logarzo, Mary Fowler, Emily Gielnik, Laura Brock