Brazil open its World Cup vs. Australia
South Americans beat the Aussies 4 years ago
Day 4, Match 8
Brazil vs. Australia, Group D
Date and Location
June 29, Borussia-Park, Mönchengladbach, Germany
Live on Rogers Sportsnet and CBCSports.ca (Noon ET). Consult the full broadcast schedule.
What's at stake
These teams put on a good show four years ago in the quarter-finals, and expectations are that they will do so again in Mönchengladbach. In many ways this is a must-win for both sides — Norway will easily win their match earlier in the day, which means Australia and Brazil can't afford to drop any points here in the race for the top two spots in Group D.
Setting the stage
For a nation with such a rich soccer pedigree, it's almost unbelievable that Brazil has never won the Women's World Cup. That could all change in Germany.
Runners-up at the 2007 World Cup and the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Brazil's women are ready to conquer the world. The brilliant Marta, by a distance the world's best female, player, is ably supported by the likes of Cristiane, Formiga and Renata Costa. Goal threats come from everywhere.
Australia's 'Matildas' will be the first to feel the force. The Aussies advanced to the quarter finals of the 2007 tournament at Canada's expense. They narrowly lost 3-2 to Brazil in the last eight, and will feel confident of running the South Americans close again.
Player to watch for Brazil
Marta — One name says it all. Marta is quite simply the finest player of her generation — perhaps the best ever. In her native Brazil, the 25-year-old striker is celebrated as the female Pele and with good reason. Marta's extraordinary ability has seen her crowned FIFA World Player of the Year an unprecedented five years running (2006-2010).
Player to watch for Australia
"For the sake of Brazilian women's football over the next few years, we simply can't afford to go backwards. Now it's time for us to win it." — striker Cristiane told FIFA.com
"The negative of our youthful squad is the unknown. If things go well there is no problem, but if not it's a case of which players stand up. However, the squad has a certain energy and confidence which perhaps wasn't the case in previous generations." — coach Tom Sermanni told FIFA.com
World Cup head-to-head
Brazil beat Australia in the quarter-finals four years ago in China. They've also played each other in five international friendlies dating back to 1988, with Australia wining three and losing two of those contests.