FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023: Brazil 4 – 0 Panama

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023: Brazil 4 – 0 Panama. Ary Borges scored the first hat-trick of the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup as Brazil cruised to victory over Panama.

The winger netted a double in the first half and set up Bia Zaneratto shortly after the interval with a backheel, before heading home the fourth goal.

It means Brazil maintain their perfect record of winning all nine of their opening games at Women’s World Cups.

They are well placed to qualify from Group F, after France were held by Jamaica.

Both of Brazil’s goals in the opening 45 minutes came in similar fashion – perfectly clipped crosses from the left by Debinha, met by the head of Ary.

The first header beat Panama keeper Yenith Bailey, while the second was kept out but tucked away by Ary on the rebound.

Ary unselfishly gave up a chance to seal a hat-trick, laying off for team-mate Zaneratto to finish a superb team move into the roof of the net – but she completed her treble after 70 minutes by heading through Bailey’s legs.

Panama – one of eight first-time contenders in 2023 – were completely outclassed, rarely able to escape their own half.

Like their male counterparts, Brazil have qualified for every edition of the Women’s World Cup. Unlike the men, they have never won the competition.

Other than reaching the 2007 final, their history in the competition has been one of underachievement. In the last two editions, they have exited in the round of 16.

While signs here of a Brazil capable of going further must be taken with a pinch of salt, given the limited opponents, this comfortable and stylish win is a further indicator of a fresher, younger side which will be worth watching in what appears a very open field of competitors.

Hat-trick heroine Ary is one of 11 players in the squad featuring at their first World Cup, and the emotion of doing so told after she broke the Panamanian resistance on 19 minutes, covering her eyes and dropping to the turf in tears.

There is still room for the old guard. Marta, the competition’s all-time record goalscorer, replaced Ary in the second half as the 37-year-old appears at her sixth World Cup.

Far tougher tasks lie ahead for Brazil – starting with France in a Saturday blockbuster – but the new Selecao have made a strong first statement.

The same optimism and praise cannot be directed the way of Panama, the last of the debutants to make their bow.

Like the other seven, they lost without scoring; but even compared to the others, the central Americans looked very limited – constantly overrun down the flanks, easily dispossessed in the middle and toothless in attack.

They were indebted to goalkeeper Bailey for keeping the score down. She made a fine one-on-one save from Adriana after just 45 seconds and produced a fine one-handed save to keep out a curling Luana effort.

Panama face Jamaica next in a game they must win – and produce a radically improved performance – in order to have a chance of progression.

source – BBC

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