Clare Wheeler was an unused substitute as Australia claimed victory in their opening Group B encounter with the Republic of Ireland.
Everton teammate Courtney Brosnan completed the full 90 minutes as Vera Pauw’s side frustrated their hosts in a tight encounter.
The stopper could do little on 52 minutes though, as Steph Catley’s spot-kick settled matters in favour of the Matildas.
The Republic of Ireland frustrated their opponents during the first half, with Pauw’s team looking very solid during the opening 45 minutes.
Indeed, the co-hosts looked to be missing Sam Kerr, although Caitlin Foord looked dangerous.
The Arsenal forward was well marshalled by green jerseys as the first half remained goalless.
But all the hard work was undone on 52 minutes; Marissa Sheva felling Hayley Raso to allow stand-in captain Catley to make no mistake from the spot.
The Girls in Green rang the changes as teenager Abbie Larkin and Birmingham City’s Lucy Quinn were introduced to try and find a way back into the game.
And with chances at both ends failing to yield more goals, Australian hearts would certainly have been in their mouths when Megan Connolly’s free-kick was deflected onto the roof of the net before Katie McCabe forced Mackenzie Arnold into a save.
Louise Quinn also had a chance, but header was just inches wide, as the Australia secured the win.
Victory against Nigeria on Thursday would all but guarantee qualification for the Matildas, while the Republic of Ireland will know that anything other than a win against Canada on Wednesday will see the chances of an early exit greatly increased.