Italy won Group C despite losing to Brazil on a record-breaking night for Marta at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Tuesday.
She converted a 74th-minute penalty to beat Italy and become the all-time leading scorer in World Cup tournaments. Her record goal also sent Brazil into the next round as the best of the four third-place teams who will advance.
Italy still held onto to top spot thanks to goal difference, while Australia will join them in the last 16 after the Matildas hammered Jamaica 4-1, with Samantha Kerr netting a quartet of goals.
- Italy 0-1 Brazil
- Jamaica 1-4 Australia
Group C Final Standings (Played, Won, Drawn, Lost, Goal Difference and Points)
1. Italy: 3, 2, 0, 1, +5, 6
2. Australia: 3, 2, 0, 1, +3, 6
3. Brazil: 3, 2, 0, 1, +3, 6
4. Jamaica: 3, 0, 0, 3, -11, 0
Marta kept her cool from the spot after Debinha had been bundled over by Elena Linari. The conversion set Marta apart from the most prolific goalscorers in both the men’s and women’s international game:
Few are as deserving of such an accolade as 33-year-old Marta, who has long been one of the sport’s leading lights.
Despite Marta and the other talent in their ranks, it was no coincidence Brazil needed a spot-kick to make the breakthrough. Italy had previously been stubborn in their resistance to Brazil’s slick passing and subtle movement.
Even so, an artful brand of football means this Brazil side will remain a threat in the knockout phase.
Australia made a more emphatic statement they aren’t to be ignored in the next round. It will be impossible to overlook Kerr, after the Perth Glory striker’s four-goal heroics.
Kerr needed just 11 minutes to open her account with a powerful header. She got her head to the ball again three minutes before the break.
An inability to deal with an aerial threat is one reason why Jamaica have been eliminated without taking a single point:
Jamaica didn’t have points, but they did get a first World Cup goal four minutes after the restart. It came courtesy of substitute Havana Solaun, who rounded goalkeeper Lydia Williams in style.
The landmark moment for the Reggae Girlz only spurred Australia to finish the job. Kerr obliged with two more goals, trusting her feet from close range on both occasions as mistakes at the back let her in.
Australia hadn’t always been at their best, but the Matildas had done more than enough to set up a tricky tie with Norway in the next round.
Socceroos legend Tim Cahill was suitably impressed:
Australia will expect to go further, while Brazil know a potential fixture against hosts France could await, depending on how results in Group D and E unfold over Wednesday and Thursday.
The prospect of Marta and Debinha trying to turn on the style against the imposing France defence led by Wendie Renard would surely make for the standout tie of the last 16.