WUHAN, China (AFP) - High-octane Brazil hammered China 4-0 Saturday with three goals in six minutes shattering Chinese hopes and reinforcing the South Americans as a favourite for the women's World Cup.
Masterful Marta began the bombardment in the 42nd minute when she hustled down a loose ball to ankle-tap it past charging goalkeeper Han Wenxia for the first goal.
Her strike silenced a near-capacity home crowd at the 52,000-seat Wuhan Sports Centre Stadium, but Brazil had only just started their awesome display of football.
"We are here to win the World Cup and we're going to try to do that," the 2006 player of year declared after the game.
Cristiane scored the second and third in the 47th and 48th minutes respectively before Marta made it four with 20 minutes to go.
"The difference (between the two teams) was we made chances and scored," head coah Jorge Barcelos said at post match press conference.
Their flawless performance means that Brazil stand unchallenged at the top of Group D with nine goals and have little to worry about in their next fixture against Denmark on Wednesday.
Their place in the quarter-finals is virtually assured.
The match began at a ferocious pace with China, led by veteran captain Han Duan, looking as dangerous as her counterpart Marta as she mounted waves of attacks deep into Brazil territory.
But as the first half drew to a close little did the Steel Roses know they were about to be picked apart by the speed and precision of Brazil's dynamic duo Marta and Cristiane.
"In the first half we could match Brazil, but in the second they showed they are better," said China's Swedish coach Marika Domanski-Lyfors.
"We made a mistake in the last minutes of the first half and they scored one -- that was crucial because we didn't play well in the second half.
"Brazil is is a very good team, one of the world's best, they showed it today."
Forward Cristiane, who earned her first international cap when she was only 15, proved how lethal her right foot is when she smashed home two goals soon after the second half started.
The first was pure hustle as the 22-year-old broke through the midfield to hammer the ball past goalkeeper Han.
Only seconds later Han was undone again, only having herself to blame as her throw was intercepted by a Marta in full-flight who flicked it to Cristiane to make it 3-0.
Han's nightmare was not over as Marta struck again from the right to seal the match and leave China ranked 11th having to beat New Zealand on Wednesday and hope Denmark lose to Brazil if they want to stay alive.
|Coach: Jorge Barcellos|
for Daniela 79'
for Cristiane 85'
for Formiga 89'
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