Football Features

Australia 3-2 Brazil: Winners and Losers as Marta shines in Canarinhas collapse

By Ben Green

Published: 19:06, 13 June 2019

In a frighteningly fast-paced group stage match at the Stade de la Mosson, Australia beat Brazil 3-2 in the Women’s World Cup.

With the match heavily poised in the opening exchanges, Brazil’s emblematic player, Marta, stepped up to give her nation the lead after converting a spot-kick in the 27th minute, and it would be 2-0 just 10 minutes later with Cristiane heading home for her fourth of the tournament.

The Matildas were stunned, but a goal from Caitlin Foord made it 2-1 just before half time, and from there, Australia had a fresh impetus with Chloe Logarzo’s cross-cum-shot drawing the scores level after the restart, while an own goal from Monica made it 3-2 to Ante Milicic’s side.

Brazil were unable to respond, and three points went in the direction of Australia. And so, after a pulsating match in southern France, who were the winners and losers from matchday two in Group C?

Winner: Marta

Marta, the six-time World Player of the Year has further etched her name in Brazilian folklore by scoring more World Cup goals for the Female Canaries than any other player in the nation’s history.

Her penalty kick in the first half was her 16th international goal at the prestigious tournament, and what a sweetly struck shot it was; with VAR making the 33-year-old endure a prolonged wait to step up, she was a portrait of composure under that sustained suspense, and when the time eventually arrived, she fired emphatically past Lydia Williams – never in doubt.

Marta missed the opening match through injury – though her teammates performed exceptionally well in her absence – but returned to the grand stage and made her influence instantly felt by breaking the deadlock.

Australia were beginning to ramp up the pressure prior to her goal, and so, when Brazil needed their totem player to step up, she duly obliged. Incredibly, no player has scored more goals than Marta in World Cup history, with the Selecao legend drawing level with a certain Miroslav Klose for Germany.

And if that wasn’t impressive enough, Marta is the first player in World Cup history to score in five different tournaments, either in the men’s game or the women’s – a true footballing great.

Loser: Brazil defence

Before the match, Brazil made no secret of their plan to try and prevent the Matildas launching deliveries into the box, but that tactical ploy seemingly went out of the window from minute one.

Ante Milicic’s side were consistently floating dangerous crosses into the 18-yard area during the opening 45 minutes, threatening to wreak aerial havoc, and they were besting their Brazilian counterparts in that particular department on numerous occasions.

It felt that Australia’s best route to goal would come from a cross, and that materialised in the dying embers of the first half, with Caitlin Foord the beneficiary of a delightful Chloe Logarzo headed knock down. That pattern followed suit in the second half as Brazil struggled to deal with Australia’s menacing crosses.

Vadao’s side were in fact threatening to run riot when they were two to the good, but Foord’s goal not only managed to reduce the deficit, but also brought the game back to life – and from there Australia dominated. Foord’s goal also ensures that Brazil have finally conceded a group stage goal at the World Cup since 2003.

Winner: Cristiane

The Paulistana forward has continued her hot streak in front of goal at this World Cup finals, netting her fourth goal in two matches as she closes in on a century of goals for the South American nation.

Her header at Montpellier’s Stade de la Mosson was a perfect piece of No. 9 play, graciously outleaping Australia vice-captain Steph Catley, before elegantly guiding the ball beyond the reach of Williams.

And while the header was expertly taken, the build-up play was even better, possessing all the elements of Selecao silk, of Latin soul; Tamires produced an audacious nutmeg – one of many in the match – before releasing a sumptuous ball down the byline to Marta, who produced a sumptuous delivery to set up Cristiane.

This was the Sao Paulo striker’s 11th World Cup goal – only four players have a better tally than her in the competition. As well as that, since the 2007 Women’s World Cup, only Marta (13) has scored more goals than the 34-year-old in the competition.

Loser: Vadao

The Brazilian coach was in charge of the women’s team when they lost 1-0 to Australia in the last 16 of the 2015 World Cup, courtesy of a goal from Kyah Simon, and they have just lost again.

That result four years ago was Australia’s first ever knockout victory in the competition, and he has certainly not made amends this afternoon after his side squandered a two-goal lead.

Brazil looked good value for their opening 2-0 lead, but a double change at half-time – albeit a forced one to Marta due to her lack of match sharpness – cost them their rhythm, and Australia ran rampant.

Vadao’s side conceded three goals, which quite incredibly is as many as they have conceded in their previous 13 group stage matches. As mentioned, they also hadn’t shipped one in since 2003.

Winner: Chloe Logarzo

When Australia needed a piece of inspiration to lift the spirits and get the Matildas back into the match, Washington Spirit’s midfield maestro, Logarzo, provided the goods.

The 24-year-old played a prominent role in the middle of the park, but it was her brilliant deliveries that caused the most mayhem in this epic Group C clash.

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Brazil had clinched a victory in each of their last 10 group stage games in the World Cup, while keeping a clean sheet in all of those matches in the process, so it was going to take something special to break that record.

Logarzo produced two moments of pure footballing brilliance, first a delightful knock down to set up Foord for Australia’s opening goal, before following up in the second half with a dangerous cross into the corridor of uncertainty that completely bewildered Barbara and brought the scores level.