The Matildas take on Brazil on Friday in their second group match at France 2019. The rest of Australia’s tournament will be riding on this result. Ahead of the crucial clash, here are three players to keep an eye on and who might cause some trouble for Ante Milicic’s team.
There’s no shying away from Brazil’s striker Cristiane who scored the first hat-trick at this Women’s World Cup. Cristiane showed she’s also highly capable of converting from a free-kick – and set-pieces are the Matildas’ weakness at the moment. Formerly at PSG, Cristiane made 63 appearances and scored 50 goals between 2015 and 2017. She’s also played in Germany’s top flight for VfL Wolfsburg, South Korea’s top flight and even in the U.S for Chicago Red Stars.
Teammate and 26-year-old Andressa Alves da Silva was born in Sao Palo. She currently plays her club football at Barcelona, scoring 25 goals in 67 appearances. Silva is a left-footed attacking player, usually deployed on the wing, however she can play in any position up front. Her technical ability means she is also a threat from set pieces like Cristiane.
Andressa’s contributions to the build-up of play are equally as important. In the opening group match, Andressa provided two assists against Jamaica. She’s quick down the wing and clever at reading the game – another strength for the Brazilians.
Currently at Paris Saint Germain, Miraildes Maciel Mota aka Formiga is appearing at her SEVENTH World Cup. The 41-year-old defensive midfielder a veteran of the game and is the first player to feature at so many Women’s World Cup tournaments. Formiga first played for national team at 17 and is also the only present player to feature in all Olympic Games tournaments of women’s football since the first edition at the 1996 Summer Olympics. The game is likely to be won and lost in the midfield when the Seleção take on the Matildas – and Formiga’s vast experience will be crucial.
Finally, if Marta plays she will also be a threat. The 6-time FIFA World Player of the Year didn’t see the field against Jamaica, but with 110 goals in 133 appearances for the national team, you can never count her out.