Brazil’s future in the 2019 Women’s World Cup hangs in the balance as they face off against Group C leaders Italy in a match that will either prove or dismantle the veteran team’s mental resolve, as reported by Bleacher Report. This match didn’t appear to have the same importance for Brazil during most of the first half of their matchup with Australia. Brazil was up 2-0 after 38 minutes and appeared to be easing into the knockout stages until an injury time goal by Kaitlyn Foord sparked an impressive second-half comeback from the Australian women. Now Brazil is forced to regroup on days notice with the knowledge that if they don’t get a victory against stronger-than-advertised Italy, the World Cup dreams for this older squad could be finished for good.
Italy faces no such pressure in this match after dispatching one of the group favorites in Australia before dismantling Jamaica 5-0. While a draw with Brazil would be enough to guarantee the top spot in Group C and due to goal difference even a loss would probably be enough, it’s hard not to see the Italian women continuing their unexpected form and attempt to claim the scalp of another one of the world’s best teams. Still, it’s likely that there will be some rotation in the squad as manager Milena Bertolini will have an eye on the knockout stages, where if they top the group, there will be a matchup with Nigeria, China, or Chile in the Round of 16.
Brazil will be hoping that Italy has an eye on the knockout stages as they face the very real threat of being eliminated in the group stages of the Women’s World Cup for the first time since 1995. A win would change all of the negativity surrounding the team, as six points would definitely be enough to get through, and a vintage Brazilian blowout could even allow them to steal the top spot in the group from Italy. It wouldn’t be out of the question as their opening match against Jamaica and the first half against Australia showed that this veteran squad hasn’t lost their skill or flair. Expect a nonstop attack from a desperate Brazil, with the potential for a lot of goals in what is sure to be an entertaining match.
Despite their disappointing loss, it’s hard to see this Brazil team with so much talent and experience leaving the tournament and possibly ending their national careers with a whimper. If Italy is to win this match and end this golden generation of Brazilian women’s soccer players, they will have to put on a performance that may even go beyond their already impressive showing.
Date: Tuesday, June 18
Time: 8 p.m. (BST), 3 p.m. (ET)
TV Info: BBC 4 (UK), Fox Sports 1 (U.S.)