Italy qualified for the knockout stages of the Women’s World Cup as group winners, despite a 1-0 defeat to Brazil.
Italy came into the match in a commanding position after a last-gasp win against Australia on the opening matchday and a 4-0 thrashing of Jamaica.
Milena Bertolini started all three Azzurre goalscorers Barbara Bonansea, Cristiana Girelli and Aurora Galli, but none of them proved effective against Brazil.
Despite that, they were the better team in the first half, forcing Selecao goalkeeper Barbara into a couple of key saves.
However, Brazil were awarded a penalty when Atletico Madrid defender Elena Linari was adjudged to have fouled Debinha, who went down very easily from an apparent coming-together of shoulders.
Marta sent Laura Giuliani became the World Cup’s all-time top scorer with 17 goals, surpassing former Lazio and Germany striker Miroslav Klose.
Nonetheless, Italy reached the last 16 as winners of Group C on goal difference.
Italy 0-1 Brazil
Marta pen 74
Italy: Giuliani; Guagni, Gama, Linari, Bartoli (Boatin 71); Galli, Giugliano, Cernoia; Giacinti (Bergamachi 63), Girelli (Mauro 78), Bonansea
Brazil: Barbara; Leticia Santos (Poliana 76), Kathellen Sousa, Monica, Taamires; Ludmila, Isa, Andressinha, Debinha; Marta (Luana 84); Cristiane (Beatriz 65)
Referee: Venegas (MEX)
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