Joint favourites Brazil and newcomers Equatorial Guinea approach their final group fixture at the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011™ in Germany from radically contrasting positions. The South Americans are already safely through to the quarter-finals, but the Africans know this is their last appearance at this edition of the tournament. However, precisely that makes the Group D encounter so enticing, as the skilled and creative teams are both under no real pressure, and fireworks could be in store for the Frankfurt crowd.
Equatorial Guinea-Brazil, Wednesday 6 July, Frankfurt, 6 pm (local time)
Following a workmanlike 1–0 opening-day victory over Australia and a 3–0 gala display to cruise past Norway, Marta and Co have eased smoothly into gear. A draw in Frankfurt would seal top spot in the section, but experts and casual fans alike know the Brazilians are all but incapable of playing anything but full-on attacking football. Ominously for their rivals, Kleiton Lima's team have also looked solid in defence and have yet to concede at the tournament.
The young Equatorial Guinea side fell to two narrow defeats, by the only goal of the game to Norway and 3–2 to Australia, but they will depart the global stage for now with their heads held high after two courageous and occasionally dazzling displays. Now, 22-year-old star striker Anonman and her team-mates will be hoping to bow out after causing a major upset against mighty Brazil.
2 - Three of the players likely to feature in Frankfurt on Wednesday evening have already scored twice at this edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup: the Seleção's Marta and Rosana, and Equatorial Guinea star Anonman. However, the top scorer at the tournament so far is Homare Sawa of Japan on three goals.
"We still often speak about how close we came four years ago. But it's our turn now, and we're giving everything we got to hit our target," Brazil midfielder Maurine.
"It's really wonderful for a player of my age to captain the national team. It's very special indeed," Equatorial Guinea forward Anonman.