Norway vs. Brazil
The FIFA Women’s World Cup resumes with play from Group D, as Brazil who are coming off a narrow victory over Australia take on Norway at the Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg, Germany who shockingly under preformed to a narrow 1-0 win over debutants Guinea.
Brazil weren’t the dominant figures that most expected when the tournament began, as Australia matched them stride for stride and gave them all they could handle. It took an amazing combination play by Cristiane and Rosana to separate the teams, but there are some serious questions over the Brazilian defense. The likes of Lisa De Vanna, Caitlin Foord and Tameka Butt exploited the backline on numerous occasions and really should have converted. Coach Kleiton Lima will need a better showing from Marta, being held to such a high standard it is expected that when the team is struggling she will take over. The standout player for Brazil in this match is Goalkeeper Andreia, if not for her strength Brazil wouldn’t have come away with all three points.
As for Norway, they were apart of the best match of the tournament to date but not due to their play but rather the performance of Guinea. The Scandinavians found out along with the rest of the world who this team is and what they are all about, as Gresshoppene were expected to run over the tiny African nation but didn’t show the killer instinct and let them hang around. It will be interesting to see what Norwegian side shows up, will it be the side with championship pedigree or the team we saw in the last match. Coach Eli Landsem will need her team to play stronger in the midfield and finish their chances, if they give Brazil the amount of time on the ball that Guinea was afforded then they will not see it back. If Norway is to bounce back it will be up to the forwards, the likes of Isabell Herlovsen, Madeleine Giske and Cecilie Pedersen will be called upon to execute in the final third. There is much hype surrounding Pedersen, and provided she doesn’t start her impact off the bench will be needed.
Both of these teams would take a giant step toward qualifying if they get a win, I’m going out on a limb and saying this match ends in a Draw. I think these teams can match each other and it will be an interesting clash of styles.