Brazil set sights on top spot
© AFP

Slowly but surely, Brazil look to be getting into their stride. After coming within a whisker of inflicting defeat on world champions Germany in the opening match, the South Americans then showed more of what they are capable of against Korea DPR.

Daniela's opening goal may have come from a defensive error when goalkeeper Jon Myong Hui took too long to deal with a harmless back-pass, but as any good striker will attest, first you have to be in the right place at the right time, and then you have to put the chance away. "Pressurising the opposition into making mistakes is a tactic that came off for us," said coach Jorge Barcellos after the match. "The Koreans caused us some problems to begin with. They have a really strong team, control the ball well and are good going forward. In the second half, they were even more attack-minded."

Korea DPR pulled a goal back in added time, and though it was too late to alter the result, it was enough to vex coach Barcellos. "The girls need to concentrate right up until the final whistle. In this case, two defenders switched off," he said. "It should never have been 2-1."

Overall, however, Barcellos had little to complain about. Marta in particular covered every blade of grass and was almost unstoppable in the first half, rounding off her excellent all-round performance with a goal. The attacker received the ball, headed straight for goal then spun around to clip a shot on the turn over the keeper and into the back of the net, showing all the class that made her FIFA World Player of the Year in 2007. "Did you see the defence that Korea put out against Marta?" asked Barcellos. "That shows you just how good she is. I don't think she'll ever have come up against a defence like that. We expect a great deal from her, but she really needs to get more support from the midfield."

The Brazilians' last group match in Beijing will be against Nigeria, who are yet to score a goal or register a point. That said, Barcellos has warned his team not to take the opposition lightly. "We need to prepare ourselves for another tough match. We want to play better against Nigeria," said the coach, "as we had a really difficult time of it against Korea and Germany. Our main priority is to finish top of the group."