Brazil have joined Japan in the Round of 16 of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ with a 1-0 win against a strong Spanish side in Montreal.
In the early stages of the contest Spain did not seem daunted by the Brazilians and their vast experience on the global stage. Their constant presence in the midfield stifled much of the Brazilians’ creativity and the South Americans were limited to a only handful of chances in the first 45 minutes.
La Roja had the first opportunity of the game after Natalia Pablos beat Brazil’s offside trap, but she then pulled her shot well wide of the target. Spain were unlucky in the 13th minute when Marta Corredera’s cross deflected off Brazil defender Rafaelle and looked to have caught goalkeeper Luciana wrong-footed, but the ball bounced just beyond the post.
Brazil opened the scoring just before the break after some fine individual work from Andressa Alves despite some admirable defending from Celia Jimenez. Alves had beaten Spain keeper Ainhoa Tirapu but Jimenez sprinted back to clear the ball off the line. However, her clearance fell straight to feet of the onrushing Alves who made no mistake in finishing.
After the break, Alves rippled the wrong side of the net when she fired her shot wide, tricking many in the stands into thinking Brazil had doubled their lead. Andressa nearly accomplished that feat a short while later with a powerful long-range drive only for Tirapu to get a fingertip to the ball and push it over the crossbar.
With 15 minutes remaining, Marta set Formiga up with a gilt-edged chance from a few yards only to put her shot wide. Spain captain Veronica Boquete and team-mate Irene Parades both had a chance to equalise in the closing moments but Boquette’s final touch let her down and Parades struck the post.
Live Your Goals Player of the Match: Andressa Alves (Brazil)