Marta’s late penalty handed Brazil victory over Italy to secure progress into the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup and earned her place as the record scorer at the finals.
The 33-year-old Orlando Pride forward, playing in her sixth World Cup, slotted in from the spot with 15 minutes left to settle the Group C clash in Valenciennes. Marta’s goal saw her past the mark of 16 set by Germany forward Miroslav Klose in the men’s tournament.
A surprise 3-2 defeat to Australia in their previous match had left Brazil needing a positive result to make sure of progress to the knockout stage, while the Italians were aiming to record a third-straight win having beaten Jamaica 5-0 in Reims.
Italy had an early chance on the break, but Barbara Bonansea’s shot from the edge of the box was saved by the Brazil goalkeeper, Barbara. At the other end, the Juventus stopper Laura Giuliani pushed over a Debinha flick from a corner.
Italy were denied on the half-hour when a goal from Cristiana Girelli was ruled out for offside before Bonansea’s close-range volley allowed Barbara to show off her reflexes.
Brazil almost broke the deadlock early in the second half when Andressa’s curling 20-yard free-kick clipped the top of the crossbar. Kathellen headed wide from a free-kick before Brazil were awarded a penalty with 15 minutes left.
Debinha was adjudged to have been barged over by Elena Linari as she broke into the left side of the box. Marta made no mistake from the spot, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way to grab her record 17th goal at the World Cup finals.
Valentina Bergamaschi had a late chance for the Italians, but failed to make decent contact with the ball to test Barbara.
Australia’s 4-1 win over Jamaica meant Brazil finished third in the table, while Italy – also with six points – topped the group on goal difference. Brazil progress to the last 16 as one of the best third-placed sides, but will have to wait to find out who they face next – as will the Italians, UK Guardian reports.