Ahead of the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup, Pia Sundhage’s Brazil hosted Chile in Brasília on Sunday. Chile won’t appear at the tournament after failing to qualify, but Brazil have been placed in Group F alongside France, Jamaica and Panama.
BRA: Lelê; Tamires, Rafaelle, Kathellen, Antônia; Luana, Ana Vitória; Geyse, Duda Sampaio; Gabi Nunes, Nycole
CHI: Canales; Pinilla, Camila Sáez, Figueroa, Soruco; Yastín Jiménez, Karen Areya; Yessenia López; Isidora Olave, Urrutia, Zamora
As was expected ahead of kickoff, Brazil were the brighter side throughout the opening exchanges and didn’t have to wait long at all for the opener. With five minutes on the clock, Nycole’s cross from the corner of the eighteen-yard box met the head of Gabi Nunes – the forward nodded it beautifully past Canales, who stood very little chance of making the save.
Yet Chile were not deterred by Brazil’s early lead, as they sought to level the game early on. Isidora Olive’s audacious attempt to lob the ball over Lelê from the left flank was something special, though the ‘keeper was able to recover and gather with ease.
One of the better opportunities of the first half fell to the Chilean side as Isidora Olave’s attempted cross struck the arm of Antônia, leading to a free-kick in a very dangerous position. Karen Araya’s delivery looked destined to nestle in the top-left corner, though it ultimately struck the woodwork – much to the relief of Lelê.
But just before the thirty-minute mark, Brazil demonstrated their ruthlessness in front of goal once again. Having conceded the free-kick that could have quite easily seen Chile level the match, Antônia was keen to make amends at the other end, firing a pinpoint cross into the centre of the box. It was met by Duda Sampaio, who thundered a rifling effort over the diving Canales to double Brazil’s advantage.
Yet the highlight of the half was Luana’s simply stunning strike, ten minutes before the break. Nycole’s free-kick delivery from the right had been nodded back towards the edge of the area, allowing the midfielder to burst onto the scene and power a strike into the top-right corner – Canales simply had no chance of making the save.
A three-goal lead at half-time seemed to be rather generous, given Brazil hadn’t seemed all too sharp defensively. It’s important not to read too much into that though, as the Canarinhas were only able to train for the first time as a full squad on Saturday – so team chemistry will come with time.
Brazil were quick to add to their advantage in the second half, with Tamires firing a cross in from deep. Barça’s Geyse was on scene to nod it home, rising above Figueroa to pick out the bottom-right corner with an incredibly accurate headed effort.
Andressa replaced Geyse just before the hour mark, and came close to finding the back of the net herself – a dipping effort from long-range looked to have Canales beaten, though the ‘keeper was able to palm it away from the top corner spectacularly.
Despite opportunities for both sides, Brazil ultimately emerged victorious with a respectable 4-0 scoreline. They’ll feel comfortable heading into this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup – especially in the knowledge that they clearly have an abundance of talent in attack. All four of their goals today stemmed from crosses, so their opponents must remain switched on and alert to prevent the Seleçao exploiting their favoured attacking outlet.
FromTheSpot will be bringing you coverage of every game throughout the FIFA Women’s World Cup, including previews and detailed reports. We’ll cover games in the buildup to the tournament too, so you can get a feel for the potential favourites ahead of action getting underway in Australia and New Zealand.