With the 1-0 victory over Italyin Genoa, the Brazilian women’s team ended their trip to Europe with perfect use in friendlies and completed a sequence of ten victories in the last three months.
Pia Sundhage watches the ball dispute between Adriana and the Italian Martina Lenzini – Photo: Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images
For coach Pia Sundhage, the results reflect the team’s growth and bring confidence to the players and also to the coaching staff.
– You gain confidence. A year ago, we were talking more about Debinha, today she was not with us, but we have other great players, we created many chances and scored goals against Norway. Today, even more tired, we found a way to beat Italy – commented the coach.
The team’s last defeat was in the friendlies at the end of June (2-1 for Denmark and 3-1 for Sweden). Then, Brazil won the Copa América winning the six games played, beat South Africa in two friendlies at the rival’s home (3-0 and 6-0) and now beat Norway (4 to 1) and Italy (1-0) also playing as a visitor. In this sequence, the team conceded only one goal and scored 34.
– The most important thing is that we don’t think we have anything guaranteed. Brazil usually wins the Copa America and qualifies for the Olympics and World Cups, but if you remember the Copa America we suffered against Colombia and won with a penalty goal from Debinha (1-0 in the decision). After that, the team changed a little bit, and today I feel like we have more options, it’s getting better and better.
About the game against Italy, Pia highlighted the team’s intelligence to beat an opponent who didn’t have the same physical wear and tear as Brazil, who played on Friday in Oslo, traveled to Italy and had just one training session before the match. For her, the Brazilian team is knowing how to adjust to circumstances.
– The players were more tired, so we decided to play with a lower markup, and I am very proud of the way we defended today. What we learned from this game is useful for when we play a tournament, I imagine after three, four games, we have to be smart, learn to defend in different ways, but also know how to attack in different ways.