Brazil beats Norway 3-0 at women’s World Cup

Marta scored two goals and created another in a 3-0 win over

Norway to lead Brazil into the quarterfinals of the women’s World

Cup on Sunday.

The five-time FIFA world player of the year struck either side

of the goal she made for Rosana in the 46th minute, scoring the

opener in the 22nd before putting the game beyond doubt in the

48th.

”I hope I can keep it up during the next match,” Marta

said.

On a wet and windy evening at the sold-out 26,000 capacity

ground, Norway started best before Marta swung the game in the

South Americans’ favor with the opening goal.

She might have had a hat trick but for a good save from Ingrid

Hjelmseth in the 69th.

”We simply didn’t have the speed that was required and yeah,

that set us back,” Norway coach, Eli Landsem said.

Norway will play Australia – which beat Equatorial Guinea 3-2 in

Group D’s earlier game – next Wednesday to decide which team

progresses along with Brazil.

Looking ahead to a likely quarterfinal against the United States

or Sweden, Brazil coach Kleiton Lima said: ”Any of the two teams

will be a struggle.”

Marta was clear about her side’s ambition.

”We want to get to the final, we would love to be champions,”

she said.

Both sides found it difficult to create chances with the

slippery surface making the wet ball hard to control and Norway’s

pressing game not allowing Brazil any time to settle early on.

Rosana’s shot failed to trouble Hjelmseth in the first minute

before Trine Ronning shot wide at the other end minutes later.

Fabiana worked herself into a good position but her attempt to

play Cristiane through was intercepted by Norway defender Guro

Knutsen Mienna in the seventh.

With strong challenges coming from both sides, the Brazilians

made a number of uncharacteristic errors.

Ester was unable to control a long pass from Marta that bounced

over her head out of play.

Norway’s best chances of the first half fell to Madeleine Giske

in the 18th, when the 23-year-old’s first goalbound effort was

blocked by Aline’s face and her next was straight at Brazil

goalkeeper Andreia.

A chorus of boos greeted Marta’s opening goal, but referee Kari

Seitz saw nothing wrong with her challenge when Nora Holstad Berge

fell to the ground as the two jostled for the ball.

”I don’t think it was a foul. I think it was a very fast

play,” Marta said. ”We had to use our bodies, me and my opponent

… I think she stumbled (but) I would have to see it again.”

The Brazilian carried on and eluded the challenge of Maren

Mjelde with a series of stepovers before shooting low to the right

of Hjelmseth.

Norway – the better side up to then – appeared deflated, and

Marta almost scored directly from a corner six minutes later.

There were no complaints regarding Brazil’s second immediately

after the interval. Marta ran at four defenders before spotting

Rosana’s run and playing the perfect ball for her teammate’s second

goal of the tournament.

Cristiane capitalized on a bad mistake from Mjelde to help

create Marta’s second two minutes later. Once the player of the

game had the ball, she simply picked her spot past Hjelmseth.

Norway pushed hard for a consolation, but Giske’s effort was

over the bar late in the game.

”Our team is honored to be able to count on Marta. Thank God,

Marta is Brazilian. Thank God, Marta is part of our squad,” said

Lima.

Lineups:

Brazil: Andreia, Erika, Daiane (Renata Costa, 85), Aline, Ester

(Grazielle, 89), Maurine, Formiga, Fabiana (Francielle, 76), Marta,

Cristiane, Rosana.

Norway: Ingrid Hjelmseth, Guro Knutsen Mienna, Nora Holstad

Berge, Maren Mjelde, Marita Skammelsrud Lund, Trine Ronning,

Ingvild Stensland (Gry Tofte Ims, 67), Leni Larsen Kaurin (Elise

Thorsnes, 46), Madeleine Giske, Emilie Haavi (Cecilie Pedersen,

52), Isabell Herlovsen.

Referee: Kari Seitz, United States.