When Brazil plays Panama at the Hindmarsh Stadium on Monday, it will be their first time on the pitch at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Brazil is one of seven countries to have been in each of the nine Women’s World Cup finals. Panama is competing in the competition for the first time. After winning their fourth straight Copa America championship last summer, Brazil enters the competition as the defending South American champions. The record winners won the Copa America title for the eighth time in their history. Debinha’s penalty kick in the championship match versus Colombia resulted in a 1-0 victory.
The Selecao has yet to win the World Cup, but they came very close in 2007. They advanced to the final but fell to Germany 2-0. Brazil advanced to the quarterfinals in 2011 after being second 13 years prior. They lost in the last 16 of the next two editions. Brazil has an impressive record of winning its first eight FIFA Women’s World Cup games and hope to keep the record going against Panama. Panama, who qualified via the intercontinental playoffs, is getting ready to compete in their first World Cup. Panama reached to the playoffs’ final round. They played Paraguay, after defeating Papua New Guinea 2-0 in the opening round.
Before Lineth Cedeno scored the decisive goal to cement her place in Panamanian football history, it looked like the game would go into overtime. Las Canaleras will be driven to perform admirably in a challenging group that includes Brazil, France, and Jamaica. However, their confidence would have been shaken before their tournament opening after losses to Spain (7-0) and Japan (5-0) in their final two warm-up games.
Rafaelle and Real Madrid’s Kathellen are anticipated to start in the heart of the Brazilian defense. Antonia and Tamires perhaps serve as the two full-backs. One of Brazil’s top goal threats is Geyse, and Gabi Nunes may line up beside the Barcelona attacker. Marta, who will compete in her sixth and last World Cup, might be crucial off the bench as her nation’s all-time leading scorer. Yenith Bailey, the 22-year-old custodian for Panama, may have her work cut out for her, but she will be hopeful that the back five can provide her with enough defense.
Our Prediction: Brazil 3 – 0 Panama
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