Norway now face Australia in the final group match with the winner joining Brazil in the last eight. The South Americans need just a point from their final outing against Equatorial Guinea to guarantee top spot.
Norway battled hard in the first half but were undone by some Marta magic. The five-time FIFA World Player of the Year raced onto a long ball from Erika and, after taking advantage of a slip by a Norway opponent, stood up her defender before firing inside Maren Mjelde’s near post.
Within the opening minute of the restart Brazil doubled their advantage as Marta burst down the right flank with pace, before drawing several defenders near the penalty area and feeding a square ball to the onrushing Rosana for an impressive goal.
Two minutes later Norway turned over the ball on the edge of the penalty area, and Marta took full advantage by slipping the ball past an exposed Hjelmseth after Cristiane’s initial shot was blocked.
The win puts the Brazilians alongside the United States as the biggest favorites for the title based on their play in the first week of competition.
In the other Group D game, we had one of the worst refereeing blunders of all-time. Equatorial Guinea defender Bruna carried the ball in her hands for a couple of seconds in front of her own goal, and somehow the referee and linesman all missed it. Luckily the blunder did not hurt Australia, which beat the Equatorial Guinea 3-2 to keep alive its dream of making the quarter-finals.