Borges and Zaneratto Goals Highlight Brazil’s 4-0 Win over Panama at Women’s World Cup

AP Photo/James Elsby
Brazil’s Beatriz Zaneratto, centre, attempts to kick the ball past Panama’s goalkeeper Yenith Bailey, left, and Panama’s Carina Baltrip-Reyes during the Women’s World Cup Group F soccer match between Brazil and Panama in Adelaide, Australia, Monday, July 24, 2023.

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Bia Zaneratto’s spectacular finish will take some beating for goal of the tournament at the Women’s World Cup. And on the evidence of its 4-0 win over Panama on Monday, Brazil will take some beating for the title.

Ary Borges scored a hat trick on her World Cup debut, but it was her assist for Zaneratto’s second-half strike that was the standout moment of the match in Adelaide and arguably the tournament so far.

When Debinha’s cross landed at Borges’ feet toward the end of a sweeping move, the forward, who had struck twice in the first half, looked set to add a third. Instead, she checked, wrong-footed Panama’s defense and backheeled to Zaneratto, who lifted her shot into the top corner.

It was a goal full of the flair that Brazilian soccer is famed for.

Following on from Germany’s 6-0 rout of Morocco earlier Monday, Pia Sundhage’s Brazilian lineup produced a statement performance.

“The first game is always difficult. Four goals and sometimes we played quite well,” Sundhage said, in a clearly understated assessment of her team’s opening match.

It means a win against France on Saturday will ensure Brazil advances to the knockout stages from Group F.

Panama, making its debut at the tournament, could do little to keep the 2007 runners-up at bay, with Borges ruthless in front of goal.

For Borges, her introduction to the World Cup could hardly have been more emphatic.

She struck twice in the first half and completed her hat trick in the 70th minute after providing her inspired assist for Zaneratto.

Borges headed Brazil in front in the 19th from close range after meeting a cross from Debinha.

She got her second in the 39th when turning in the rebound after her initial header was saved by Panama goalkeeper Yenith Bailey.

Her third was another header, this time from Geyse’s cross.

“I’ve waited a long time for this moment. It’s a dream to be able to be here, playing in a World Cup,” Borges said. “It’s one of the best days of my life. I’m very, very happy for the three goals, but the main thing was a debut in which we imposed ourselves.

“It was a lot of emotion, remembering everything I did to be here. It was a mixture of feelings. I was happy, I cried, anxious to start the game. Being here is truly a dream.”

Borges was replaced by Brazil legend Marta late in the match.

It was the 37-year-old Marta’s sixth World Cup and she is the competition’s all-time leading scorer with 17 goals.

Borges has a long way to get close to that mark, but she’s off to a good start.


Brazil plays France in Brisbane on Saturday when a win would see it qualify from Group F. Panama plays Jamaica in Perth on the same day.