Wolfsburg, Germany, Jul 4 : Marta scored two goals and created another in a 3-0 win over Norway to lead Brazil into the quarterfinals of the women's World Cup on Sunday.
The five-time FIFA world player of the year struck either side of the goal she made for Rosana in the 46th minute, scoring the opener in the 22nd before putting the game beyond doubt in the 48th.
“I hope I can keep it up during the next match,” Marta said.
On a wet and windy evening at the sold-out 26,000 capacity ground, Norway started best before Marta swung the game in the South Americans' favor with the opening goal.
She might have had a hat trick but for a good save from Ingrid Hjelmseth in the 69th.
“We simply didn't have the speed that was required and yeah, that set us back,” Norway coach, Eli Landsem said.
Norway will play Australia—which beat Equatorial Guinea 3-2 in Group D's earlier game—next Wednesday to decide which team progresses along with Brazil.
Looking ahead to a likely quarterfinal against the United States or Sweden, Brazil coach Kleiton Lima said: “Any of the two teams will be a struggle.”
Marta was clear about her side's ambition.
“We want to get to the final, we would love to be champions,” she said.
Both sides found it difficult to create chances with the slippery surface making the wet ball hard to control and Norway's pressing game not allowing Brazil any time to settle early on.
Rosana's shot failed to trouble Hjelmseth in the first minute before Trine Ronning shot wide at the other end minutes later.
Fabiana worked herself into a good position but her attempt to play Cristiane through was intercepted by Norway defender Guro Knutsen Mienna in the seventh.
With strong challenges coming from both sides, the Brazilians made a number of uncharacteristic errors.
Ester was unable to control a long pass from Marta that bounced over her head out of play.
Norway's best chances of the first half fell to Madeleine Giske in the 18th, when the 23-year-old's first goalbound effort was blocked by Aline's face and her next was straight at Brazil goalkeeper Andreia.
A chorus of boos greeted Marta's opening goal, but referee Kari Seitz saw nothing wrong with her challenge when Nora Holstad Berge fell to the ground as the two jostled for the ball.
“I don't think it was a foul. I think it was a very fast play,” Marta said. “We had to use our bodies, me and my opponent ... I think she stumbled (but) I would have to see it again.”
The Brazilian carried on and eluded the challenge of Maren Mjelde with a series of stepovers before shooting low to the right of Hjelmseth.
Norway—the better side up to then—appeared deflated, and Marta almost scored directly from a corner six minutes later.
There were no complaints regarding Brazil's second immediately after the interval. Marta ran at four defenders before spotting Rosana's run and playing the perfect ball for her teammate's second goal of the tournament.
Cristiane capitalized on a bad mistake from Mjelde to help create Marta's second two minutes later. Once the player of the game had the ball, she simply picked her spot past Hjelmseth.
Norway pushed hard for a consolation, but Giske's effort was over the bar late in the game.
“Our team is honored to be able to count on Marta. Thank God, Marta is Brazilian. Thank God, Marta is part of our squad,” said Lima.
Brazil: Andreia, Erika, Daiane (Renata Costa, 85), Aline, Ester (Grazielle, 89), Maurine, Formiga, Fabiana (Francielle, 76), Marta, Cristiane, Rosana.
Norway: Ingrid Hjelmseth, Guro Knutsen Mienna, Nora Holstad Berge, Maren Mjelde, Marita Skammelsrud Lund, Trine Ronning, Ingvild Stensland (Gry Tofte Ims, 67), Leni Larsen Kaurin (Elise Thorsnes, 46), Madeleine Giske, Emilie Haavi (Cecilie Pedersen, 52), Isabell Herlovsen.
Referee: Kari Seitz, United States. AP