Moncton: Brazil have set themselves the minimum requirement of reaching the 2015 Women’s World Cup final but are not taking anything for granted against an Australian team they say have improved significantly.
When the Canarinhas prepared to play the Matildas in their opening game of their 2011 World Cup, they analysed just two opposition players. Ahead of their knock-out match against Australia on Sunday (3am Monday AEST), Brazil have undertaken an extensive analysis of the entire squad such is their opinion the Matildas are a sleeping giant.
The Brazilians won 1-0 in the last World Cup and knocked-out Australia in the quarter final of the 2007 tournament with a 3-2 victory but star player Marta is not expecting history to repeat without a much greater effort form the South American giants.
“The Brazilian team changed everything [from 2011], there are some players at the time like myself, Formiga and Cristiane, most of them are younger players… but the style of playing is the same, maybe a bit more intense from the two teams especially from Australia. They have a team that is very aggressive, very fast, very well trained, very technical players, there were two players we had to give more attention now its the whole team. We know the quality because we know we can win the match tomorrow,” Marta said.
Depending where Marta plays in her free role in attack, she will be man-marked by either Steph Catley, Caitlin Foord or Elise Kellond-Knight. However, the five-time Women’s World Player of the Year is unfazed by being tagged for the entire match and says if it requires more than one player to stop her as there will be more space unlocked for her teammates.
“We are analysing all the players on Australian team but there is no specific player that we analyse more than another,” Marta said. “If [Foord] is going to shadow me to mark me maybe we can open space for other players for Brazil and that won’t be an issue and if that’s a problem we’ll try to resolve it in the field the best way possible,” Marta said.
Brazil will start the match as favourite against Australia but it is not a tag Marta is particularly comfortable with. With the gap between the top ranked teams and those just outside of the highest bracket getting closer with each tournament, the Brazilians believe their tag as favourites is meaningless.
“We are at peace with ourselves, we know our role, our quality and we don’t take the weight of being the favourite team because their football is very advanced, very high, very closed together as a team and they’re not that far away from each other,” Marta said. “This hour of being a favourite does not carry much weight because we know our role is much bigger than that. We don’t want to be let down by this comments but tomorrow we want to leave Moncton with a victory.”
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