MONTPELLIER, France (Reuters) – Australia came from two goals down to defeat Brazil 3-2 in the women’s World Cup on Thursday, as Monica’s own goal overshadowed a milestone strike for team mate Marta as the South Americans suffered their first group stage defeat in 24 years.
Marta, 33, became the first player to score at five different World Cups as she put Brazil ahead from the penalty spot with a record-extending 16th World Cup goal before Cristiane doubled the lead.
Caitlin Foord reduced the arrears on the stroke of halftime before Chloe Logarzo equalized and Monica then headed past her own keeper, with the goal given after a VAR review, to hand Australia all three points.
Australia are only the second team in women’s World Cup history to win a match from being at least two goals behind, after Sweden beat Germany 3-2 in 1995.
Brazil and Australia have three points each in Group C as do Italy, who take on Jamaica on Friday after beating the Matildas in their opening match.
“Tonight is one of the finest Australian performances I’ve seen. The players deserve all the rewards they were given tonight. I’m really delighted for them,” said Australia coach Ante Milicic.
“They never stopped believing, and the coaching staff never stopped believing. We kept on believing in our style and in our football and it’s an Australian performance to be proud of.”
Marta opened the scoring after 27 minutes, converting from the spot after Leticia Santos was fouled by Elise Kellond-Knight.
Marta had already scored at the 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 World Cups.
“It would feel much better with a win,” she said. “It’s one more detail written in the history of women’s football. I am honored, but there’s more to do at this tournament.”
Cristiane netted her fourth goal at these finals with a 38th-minute header to double Brazil’s tally but Foord gave Australia hope with a close-range finish.
Marta, who missed the opening game against Jamaica through injury, was replaced for the second half as coach Vadao looked to rest her, but the decision backfired as Brazil lost control.
Logarzo equalized with a long-range shot in the 58th minute, eight minutes before Monica’s own goal was confirmed by VAR.
(Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis and Ken Ferris)