MONTREAL: Brazil star Marta claimed a record 15th Women’s World Cup goal on Tuesday in a 2-0 win over South Korea, as France beat old rivals England 1-0 in their opener.
Marta’s second-half penalty in the Group E clash in Montreal saw the 29-year-old overtake Germany’s Birgit Prinz as the top goalscorer in the history of the tournament.
Veteran teammate Formiga, 37, had grabbed Brazil’s first-half opener to become the oldest ever Women’s World Cup goalscorer.
Brazil now lead Group E after rivals Spain and Costa Rica played out a 1-1 draw in Montreal.
Earlier in Moncton, Eugenie Le Sommer’s spectacular first-half goal got France off to a winning start over England in Group F.
The French, among the favourites, dominated in rain and windy conditions in New Brunswick, condemning England to remain winless against their old rivals since 1974.
“We’re relieved,” admitted France defender Laure Boulleau.
“It was an extremely important match to get into the competition. England were supposed to be more dangerous.”
But England coach Mark Sampson warned: “Watch the next game and see what comes on then.
“I have some hungry players on the bench who are keen to get involved.”
The sixth-ranked English, looking to push beyond the quarter-finals for the first time, chase their first points against Mexico on Saturday when France play Colombia.
France are top of Group F ahead of Colombia and Mexico who drew 1-1 in a game where goalline technology was used for the first time at the women’s tournament.
For Brazil it was a convincing win by the 2007 runners-up against a Korean side who had few real scoring opportunities.
But it was an error from the Korean defence that allowed Formiga through.
A solo break by Cristiane through midfield saw her lose control of the ball and with Kim Doyeon too slow clearing, the pacy Formiga raced forward to sent the ball into the net.
Formiga also made history with a record sixth World Cup appearance, a mark she shares with Japan’s Homare Sawa. Her goal was her 20th in 137 international appearances.
But the sea of yellow and green Brazilian fans had to wait until the second half to witness the goal they had all come to see.
Once again Formiga was the instigator, rushing into the Korean penalty area before being cut down by Cho Soh-yun.
Marta coolly slotted home almost 12 years after her first goal, also from the penalty spot against South Korea.
It was a 92nd goal in 93 internationals spanning 13 years for the Sweden-based player.
The reigning six-time Copa America champions next play Spain with South Korea looking for their first points against Costa Rica.
Spain were held 1-1 by fellow newcomers Costa Rica. Vicky Losada’s first ever World Cup goal for Spain on 13 minutes was cancelled out by Costa Rica’s Raquel Rodriguez Cedeno a minute later.
Daniela Montoya’s late equaliser for Colombia denied Mexico a first World Cup win with a 1-1 draw on Tuesday which saw goalline technology used to decide Veronica Perez’s 36th-minute goal.
The top two teams in each group advance to the knock-out round along with the four best third-place finishers. – AFP