An improved second-half showing from group winners Brazil saw them defeat Equatorial Guinea 3-0 at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Stadium in Frankfurt.
Brazil had a great chance to score with two minutes on the clock. A free-kick whipped into the box by Marta almost found both Cristiane and Erika who had made great runs, but the ball flew agonisingly between them.
The South Americans were the dominant side were enjoying a huge amount of possession. However, they were constantly let down by their wayward passing and poor anticipation. The order unforced errors gave the Nzalang Nacional confidence they grew in stature during the first half.
Indeed, an inswinging free-kick almost saw Equatorial Guinea take the lead. Anonman turned sharply to deceive her marker Ester and pounce on Dorine’s set piece, but Andreia came out to smother her goalbound effort.
Marta tried to score straight from the corner in the 27th minute, but Miriam at full stretch was able to palm the ball away. The first half petered out as a contest after that, but Brazil emerged from the from the break with more dedication.
They took the lead four minutes after the restart when Maurine’s cross-cum-shot was blocked by Miriam into the path of Erika who played the ball over Ana Cristina volleyed it home with her left foot. Six minutes later they doubled their advantage when Marta show powered down the left wing and delivered a perfect cross to the near post. Cristiane outpaced marker Dulcia to nip in ahead with her right boot.
Equatorial Guinea had their chances too. Carolina’s free-kick from 30 yards went narrowly wide and Anonman’s went even closer. Just as it seemed that the Africans may grab a consolation, Brazil scored the third of the game when Bruna far smarter in the box and from the resulting penalty Cristiane made no mistake.
Kleiton Lima’s side will now meet either Sweden or USA in Dresden on Sunday 10 July.
Player of the match: Erika (BRA)