Ary Borges scored a hat trick on her Women’s World Cup debut to help Brazil thrash debutants Panama 4-0 at the Hindmarsh stadium in Adelaide on Monday and get their campaign off to a winning start.
The result takes Brazil to the top of Group F, after France were held to a 0-0 draw by Jamaica on Sunday. Brazil, whose best finish at the global soccer showpiece was runners-up in 2007, have now won all nine of their opening Women’s World Cup matches.
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“We’re happy, the first game is always difficult. Four goals, and we played quite well,” Brazil coach Pia Sundhage said. “I think Borges is happy as well, scoring a hat-trick, she played well today…”
The tone was set for Panama in the first minute when Adriana raced through and stabbed a shot at keeper Yenith Bailey, before Debinha and Antonia blazed attempts over the bar within the opening six minutes of the match.
The South American heavyweights continued to launch wave after wave of attack on Panama’s hapless backline as they pressed for an opener, which arrived in the 19th minute when Debinha floated in a cross that was headed home by an unmarked Borges at the back post.
Borges netted her second of the match 20 minutes later as she poked in a rebound after having a header saved by Bailey.
The Brazilians turned on the style in the second half as Borges set up Bia Zaneratto with a backheel flick for the third in the 48th minute to finish off a well-worked team goal.
Borges then put the icing on the cake in the 70th minute when she got on the end of a cross from substitute Geyse to become the first-ever Brazilian to score a hat-trick on their Women’s World Cup debut.
The 23-year-old was substituted minutes later, walking off the pitch to be replaced by veteran Marta in what felt like the passing of the torch for the Brazilian team.
Marta enjoyed a lively cameo, registering an effort on target with a free-kick, but the forward was unable to add a record-extending 18th World Cup goal to her tally.
Panama, who were pinned back in their own half for much of the contest, had goalkeeper Bailey to thank for keeping the deficit in check after she made a string of excellent saves to thwart attempts from Luana, Adriana and Rafaelle.
Brazil next face France in a mouth-watering clash on Saturday in Brisbane, while Panama take on Jamaica in Perth later that day.
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