WWC 2015 Round of 16: Brazil

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Australia takes on Brazil in the morning for a place in the Women’s World Cup Quarter Final. Here’s what they’ll be coming up against.

Get to know Austalia’s Round of 16 foes

Group performance

The favourites of Group E did not disappoint their fans, finishing the group stage with nine points and a clean sheet. Brazil started the tournament with a 2-0 win over South Korea, continued their campaign with a hard-earned 1-0 win over Spain and finished the group stage with a 1-0 win over Costa Rica.

They tended to cement their lead early on, scoring within the first half against both South Korea and Spain. Against Costa Rica however, the Brazilians were held goalless until the 83rd minute when Raquel Fernandes finally scored. Knowing his squad had already made it through to the Round of 16, Brazil’s coach, Vadão, made a tactical decision not to play Marta or Formiga against the Costa Ricans, which was viewed by some as not taking the match seriously.

Overall, Brazil has played with flair and originality but maybe not as much sparkle as some of us were expecting. With no goal against, their defensive record is pretty impressive and reminds everyone why they are such a highly regarded squad.

BRAZIL TAKE ON AUSTRALIA IN THE ROUND OF 16. READ OUR AUSTRALIA PREVIEW HERE.

They’ll beat Australia because…

The individual flair of the Brazilian players is something not many teams can match or handle. Despite being known for their “superstars”, Brazil have proven they can play just as well without them. They are a team known for their originality, versatility, and ingenuity in front of goal and in defense. Brazil have come out of the group with three victories and also had the luxury of resting their top players who will be full of beans come Monday morning (our time). They’ll also be confident knowing they overpowered the Matildas in the group stage of the 2011 World Cup, winning 1-0, and in the quarterfinals of the 2007 World Cup in which they won 3-2. In addition, Australia has only won one game out of three in their group stage so might not be as mentally prepared.

They’ll be knocked-out by Australia because…

The Matildas have survived the so-called “group of death” and because ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’, they will be more than ready to take on Brazil. Although they have lost to the South American powerhouse in World Cups twice before, an optimistic Australian side says, “third time lucky!” With such close scores in their previous two games, the Matildas will be feeling confident that the match will be at the very least a close contest. It should be noted that they drew 1-1 with Sweden in the group stage despite being defeated by them 3-1 in 2011 World Cup quarterfinals which means Australia are stronger than ever before and their strength will show come Monday morning. Brazil are difficult to beat, sure, but impossible to beat? Nope.

Can they win the World Cup?

They’ve definitely got a shot. The Canarinhas are the most successful team in South America having won the Copa América four times and having reached the semi-finals of the World Cup twice before; in 1999 when they came third and in 2007 when they came second to Germany. In the most recent World Cup in 2011 they were knocked out on penalties in the quarter finals against the United States, who went on to lose the final against Japan on penalties.

Best moment of the tournament so far

Brazil’s best 2015 Women’s World Cup moment has to have been their goal against Spain. Andressa Alves was the hero of the day, scoring after an impressive individual effort. Alves had a fantastic breakaway sprint down the pitch, all the while with Spanish defender Celia Jimenez at her heels. Despite the pressure, Alves managed to beat Jimenez and get past goalkeeper Ainhoa Tirapu only for Jimenez to clear the ball off the line, back to Alves’ feet, which she used to send the ball swishing into the back of the net.

Key Player

At the beginning of the tournament one might have said Marta whose footwork certainly has Maradona vibes about it, or Formiga whose consistency has seen her continue playing the beautiful game into her late thirties. But, for the sake of being a little bit different let’s go with Darlene de Souza Reguera. Although the midfielder only has 33 international caps she has more than made an impact during Brazil’s 2015 campaign. Darlene has all the skills of a good midfielder; vision, determination, communication and endurance. She has stepped up and performed in the absence of her more notable teammates, has played consistently well under pressure and is an asset to the Brazilian squad.

Injuries/suspensions

None – in fact, Group E had one of the lowest yellow card tallies of the competition.

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