Brazil, Norway set for clash for supremacy

2011-07-02 11:06

Wolfsburg, Germany – Brazil coach Kleiton Lima has warned his Samba Girls they need to improve as they clash for supremacy in Group D of the women’s World Cup with former champions Norway here tomorrow.

Both teams have a strong history in the tournament with the Scandinavians winning in 1995 and Brazil finishing runner-ups four years ago.

Although both won their opening matches – Brazil beat Australia 1-0 and Norway tamed Equatorial Guinea by the same scoreline – the sides were made to work hard and will be looking for an improvement.

The tie could also have a potentially pivotal role in the tournament as it could decide who will finish Group D leader, which is important to avoid a possible quarterfinal clash against the United States.

Brazil captain Aline said the team knows what is expected against the 2000 Olympic champions.

“All our efforts are now on Norway. People expect a lot of us and we have to play well not to disappoint them.

There’s lots of room for improvement and that’s just what we’re going to do,” she said.

Polyvalent midfielder Rosana, who scored her first World Cup goal, said the team wanted to build on the positives of the Australia game.

“A match like that (Australia) gives you confidence for the next. I’m hopeful that my goal can open the floodgates for even more in the next match,” added Rosana.

Lima said he was hoping for an improvement in form and for superstar Marta to finally be able to spark the team after the five-time FIFA World Player of the Year failed to fire against the Mathildas.

“We have to improve,” said Lima.

“Whenever we have the possibility to play in a collective fashion we do it,” he said. “We need Marta but we need the ten other players. She’s a weapon we have and no other team have it but us.

“We need Marta but we need the ten other players to be victorious.”

Norway striker Emilie Haavi admitted her ninth-ranked side got off to a rusty start against newcomers Equatorial Guinea.

“We’re going to have to do better against Brazil. However, after that win we’re confident now – and I’m really excited about that match. Brazil are one of the best teams in women’s football,” she said.

The teams have met seven times, with world number three Brazil claiming three wins, Norway two, and two matches ending in a draw.

Brazil however, have a better record against Norway in the world tournament winning their two previous meetings in 1999 and 2003.

Australia and Equatorial Guinea meet in the second Group D game in Bochum tomorrow. 

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