Brazil's speed shocks favored Norway

Posted: Thursday, September 25, 2003

WASHINGTON Brazil can consider itself fortunate it probably won't have to play the United States in the next round of the Women's World Cup.

Or should that be the other way around?

''I don't think the U.S. wants to get us, either, right now,'' Daniela, an 18-year-old forward, said, showing some teenage moxie after getting a goal and an assist in Wednesday night's 4-1 upset over 2000 Olympic champion Norway.

''Any team we play, we're still going to play very serious and try to win.''

In a battle of ground vs. air and flair vs. brawn, the young Brazilians weren't intimated by Norway's 17 fouls as they took command of Group B with their second consecutive three-goal victory. If the United States, the defending champion, and Brazil (2-0) win their respective groups, they can't meet until the final game.

''It is very important that Brazil wins the World Cup,'' coach Paul Goncalves said. ''Because in Brazil if you take second or third, you get no value whatsoever. Also women's soccer in Brazil right now is just beginning to get attention.''

In Wednesday's other Group B game, France (1-1) stayed alive with a 1-0 victory over South Korea (0-2). Marinette Pichon, last year's MVP in the WUSA, scored in the 84th minute, the first Women's World Cup goal ever for France.

Brazil's speed stunned Norway (1-1), which lost for just the fourth time in 20 World Cup matches. The world's second-ranked team practically sleepwalked through most of the first half, bumping and elbowing their way around on defense and missing their passes on offense.

''We were very nervous,'' midfielder Solveig Gulbrandsen said. ''I think we had our shoulders up around our ears.''

Coach Age Steen was not pleased.

''We think we are better than that,'' he said. ''We ARE better than that.''

Daniela and Rosana had picturesque goals in the first half, and Marta and Katia scored in the second half for Brazil.

Marianne Pettersen scored in first-half injury time on a classic Norwegian long-ball goal, and the Scandinavians threatened goalkeeper Andreia several times early in the second half before two more goals by Brazil quickly put the game away.

France 1, South Korea 0

WASHINGTON Marinette Pichon, last year's MVP in the WUSA, kept France alive in the Women's World Cup on Wednesday night, scoring in the 84th minute in a 1-0 victory over South Korea.

With her team on the brink of elimination, Pichon controlled the ricochet of Elodie Woock's free kick from the left wing and drove home the winning goal from 12 yards. It was the first Women's World Cup goal for France, which got shut out 2-0 in its debut game last Saturday against Norway.

A tie would have ended any chance of France (1-1) advancing to the quarterfinals. Now they are tied for second in Group B with Norway, with a final first-round game against first-place Brazil on Saturday.

South Korea (0-2), also making its first World Cup appearance, has yet to score in two games. They will finish group play against Norway on Saturday.

Germany 3, Japan 0

COLUMBUS, Ohio Birgit Prinz scored two goals and Germany beat Japan 3-0 Wednesday night to take the lead in Group C of the Women's World Cup.

Sandra Minnert added a goal as Germany (2-0) became the only team in the group with two wins. Japan (1-1) was coming off an opening 6-0 victory over Argentina.

Stefanie Gottschlich stole the ball at midfield and passed to Maren Meinert who set up Prinz' first goal. Prinz collected the pass inside the penalty box and sent a right-footed shot into the right side for a 2-0 lead in the 36th minute.

Canada 3, Argentina 0

COLUMBUS, Ohio Christine Latham scored twice in a three-minute span Wednesday night and Canada earned its first Women's World Cup victory ever, beating Argentina 3-0.

Charmaine Hooper added a goal off a penalty kick as Canada (1-1) remained in the hunt for a second-round berth.

Latham headed a hard shot that goalkeeper Romina Ferro blocked but she pushed in the rebound with her right foot while falling backward in the 79th minute.

In the 82nd minute, Kristina Kiss bent a direct kick past a wall of three defenders to Silvana Burtini who passed to Latham who put a low shot past Ferro from 7 yards.

Canada was awarded the penalty kick in the 18th minute after Latham was tripped inside the penalty box by defender Mariela Coronel. Hooper sent a hard shot to left side netting as Ferro dived to her right.

Argentina (0-2) has not scored in its two games and cannot advance past the first round.

Canada was winless in seven World Cup games, though the team did earn a tie in each of the previous two tournaments.

The Argentines best chance came early in the second half when Marisol Medina's shot from 12 yards was pushed wide right by goalkeeper Tarry Swatted.

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