Against a Panama side making their debut at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Pia Sundhage’s Brazil would look to maintain their 100% record on MD1 of the tournament. Emotions were clearly running high in this Panama side ahead of kickoff, with the players in tears as the national anthem rang out around the Hindmarsh Stadium
BRA: Leticia; Tamires, Rafaelle, Lauren, Antonia; Adriana, Luana, Kremlin, Ary Borges; Debinha, Bia Zaneratto
PAN: Bailey; Jaen, Baltrip-Reyes, Vargas, Pinzon, Castillo; Cox, Gonzalez, Quintero, Mills; Riley
A blistering start to this affair in Adelaide saw Brazil break into the box within the opening minute – as Adriana was played through on goal after a rapid surge forwards. Bailey was able to parry her shot behind for a corner, but early warning signs indicated a dominant performance from the Seleçao.
Debinha looked to fire Brazil into the lead just before the twenty-minute mark, though her curling effort flew a few inches wide of the top-left corner – but just seconds later, the opener finally arrived. Ary Borges was left in acres of space at the back post, simply having to nod Debinha’s cross into the back of the net – and Borges’ emotions were visible as she sunk to the ground in celebration.
Despite a flurry of high-quality chances for the Seleçao, including an acrobatic attempt by Luana, it took almost twenty minutes for Brazil to add to their lead. The on-pitch performance had been nothing less than dominant, and Ary Borges’ found her second goal of the match to double her country’s lead. While her initial header had been saved well by Bailey, the winger was able to find the back of the net at the second time of asking – pummeling a powerful strike past the Panama ‘keeper.
Yet Ary Borges was far from done with her thrashing of Panama, as she assisted Brazil’s third goal to put the game to bed at the start of the second half. As had been the case with the first two goals, the chance stemmed from a delivery from the left flank – and this time, a moment of sheer selflessness from Ary Borges saw the goalscorer roll the ball back to Bia Zaneratto, who made no mistake with a classy finish.
The Ary Borges Show continued as the half progressed, and with little more than twenty minutes remaining, the Brazilian completed her stunning hat trick – becoming just the fourth player from her nation to achieve such a feat at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Yet again, the action stemmed from the left wing and it was another cross that punished this ragged Panama defence.
While the scoreline may not be as impressive as Germany’s 6-0 thrashing of Morocco earlier on Monday, an almost flawless performance from the Seleçao will have impressed Pia Sundhage and her coaching team. A simply stunning hat trick for Ary Borges on her debut appearance at Women’s World Cup will certainly be an unforgettable memory for the 23-year-old.
Both of these sides will return to Group F action on Saturday, 29 July – as France face Brazil in a potential all-time classic. Panama will take on Jamaica on the same day, with a win for either side opening up the possibility of a space in the round-of-sixteen.