Brazil: Assessing Marta's Performance Against New Zealand at 2012 Olympics
Although they qualified for the knockout stages of the women's football event, Brazil were made to work hard for their 1-0 victory.
I am aware that their goal came in the 86th minute from Cristiane, but I'm going to focus on the performance of their talismanic striker, Marta.
She's already racked up a list of impressive achievements throughout her career and she's looking to add Olympic gold to the list. Her goalscoring record is frightening at international level, averaging at least a goal in every appearance.
Marta is a player who's more than capable of captivating the crowd and her opponents, and her performances have often led her club and national teams to victory.
While she didn't score against New Zealand, she scored twice in the opening game against Cameroon and showed us again tonight why she's one of the best female players around.
Early on in the match, it looked like she might have to go off injured after a collision with one of the New Zealand defenders, but to the relief of her manager, she was able to carry on. She was a handful for the New Zealand defence throughout the game and offered glimpses of why she's a five-time World Player of the Year.
Marta caused a few problems for New Zealand, making some dangerous runs, but for one reason or another, she just couldn't get going today. That's not a reflection on her, because everyone has days, for some reason, where things just don't click.
After suffering knockout heartache with the Brazilian national team at the last three tournaments, Marta will be looking to add a winner's medal to her collection.
If it were me, I wouldn't bet against this superstar being rewarded with a gold medal in the next couple of weeks!
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