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Brazil Serves Notice in 4-1 Win

September 25, 2003|Grahame L. Jones | Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Four years ago, when Brazil took third place in the 1999 Women's World Cup by defeating Norway at the Rose Bowl, 13-year-old Marta Viera da Silva was back home in the Brazilian state of Alagoas.

"I was watching it on TV," she recalled, "and I said, 'One day I'm going to be there.' "

On Wednesday night, she was there, scoring a goal as South American champion Brazil demolished former world champion Norway, 4-1, in front of an announced crowd of 16,316 at RFK Stadium.

It was the Norwegians' worst defeat since they were trounced, 5-0, by China in the 1999 semifinals.

"The Brazilian team was faster than us," Norway Coach Age Steen said. "We are better than that. The Norway team will come back in the next match."

It will have to. Brazil, with consecutive victories, leads Group B and, if it finishes first, would avoid playing the United States, the probable Group A winner, in the quarterfinals. Instead, playing the defending world champions would be Norway's dubious privilege.

Asked if avoiding the Americans was Brazil's ambition, forward Daniela said: "I don't think the U.S. wants to get us, either."

It was Daniela who gave Brazil the lead, sprinting through a pack of Norwegian defenders and blasting a bouncing 18-yard shot past goalkeeper Bente Nordby and just inside the left post in the 26th minute.

Four minutes later, Renata Costa slammed a shot against the crossbar, rattling Norwegian nerves, and seven minutes after that Rosana doubled the score, heading the ball past Nordby off a free kick by Daniela.

Marianne Pettersen scored for Norway in injury time to make it 2-1 by halftime, but Marta and Katia scored for Brazil in the second half.

In other games:

France 1, South Korea 0 -- In the second game of a doubleheader at Washington, France kept alive its hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals on an 84th-minute goal by Marinette Pichon off a free kick by Elodie Woock.

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

Germany 3, Japan 0 -- Birgit Prinz scored two goals and Sandra Minnert also scored at Columbus.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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