MONCTON, Canada, (Reuters) – Brazil were knocked out of the Women’s World Cup yesterday after suffering a surprise 1-0 defeat to a battling Australia in the round of 16.
A goal from substitute Kyah Simon 10 minutes from the end earned Australia a place in the quarter-finals where they will face the Netherlands or Japan.
It was the first — and only — goal that Brazil conceded in this tournament but it cost them dearly.
In the group stage the ‘Canarinhas’ won all three of their games without conceding but when it came to the crunch they failed to create enough problems for a rock solid Australian defence.
Their star performer, five-times World Player of the Year Marta, looked far from her best as she was neutralised by Australia’s disciplined marking and ability to close down space.
For Australia, the win was the first they have ever achieved in the knockout stage of a World Cup and will go down as one of the most famous victories for the Matildas.
It was an intense physical battle on a wet artificial surface with chances at a premium but those few opportunities were created by the south Americans.
Brazilian midfielder Formiga had the first truly threatening attempt on goal in the 28th minute when her swerving shot from 25 metres was superbly saved by Australia keeper Lydia Williams.
Marta should have done better in the 62nd minute when Christiane found her on the left but her low shot to the near post made it too easy for Williams.
A minute later Formiga rose well to meet a corner from Andressa but her header struck the post.
But then came the killer blow.
After Brazil gave the ball away in midfield, Lisa De Vanne broke down the right flank and fired in a low shot which Brazil keeper Luciana spilled out and Simon pounced to slot home.
Inevitably Brazil threw everything forward in search of an equaliser but, apart from a Christiane header that Williams dealt with comfortably, created little.
“We controlled the game, the statistics show that, the chances showed that but we lost the game and we are out,” said Brazil coach Vadao.
“Australia were very efficient and clinical when it counted with the goal, congratulations to them.”