|Equatorial Guinea defender Bruna was not called for a penalty despite blatantly grabbing this rebound in the 16th minute. (Frank Augstein/Associated Press)|
Marta doubles pleasure for Brazil
Australia edges Equatorial Guinea
Marta scored twice in a 3-0 win over Norway to lead Brazil into the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup yesterday in Wolfsburg, Germany.
The five-time FIFA world player of the year scored the first goal in the 22d minute before putting the game out of reach 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-seat stadium, Norway started strong before Marta swung the game in the South Americans’ favor with the opening goal.
She might have had a hat trick if not for a nifty save from Ingrid Hjelmseth in the 69th minute.
“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 - on Wednesday to decide which team advances 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 team’s goals.
“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.
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 were from Madeleine Giske in the 18th minute, when the 23-year-old’s first shot 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.’’
Australia 3, Equatorial Guinea 2 - Australia kept alive its chances to reach the quarterfinals in a game at Bochum, Germany, that will be remembered for a penalty that wasn’t called.
Australia’s Leena Khamis, who scored the first goal, hit the post in the 16th minute. As the ball bounced back, defender Bruna grabbed it with both hands, held it, then casually dropped it again. Australians threw out their arms in amazement when Hungarian referee Gyoengyi Gaal failed to call a penalty.
Anonman scored in the 21st minute for Equatorial Guinea, before Australia took the lead for good with goals early in the second half by Emily Van Egmond and Lisa De Vanna.