Brazil unsure if Marta will play against Australia
PARIS -- Brazil played coy on the status of star player Marta ahead of its Women's World Cup match against Australia, a team reeling from an opening upset and unsure if it will face the six-time FIFA Player of the Year.
Marta did not play in Brazil's opening game against Jamaica because of a left thigh injury, but the forward has been transitioned from medical treatment to training. She got in two days of practice ahead of Thursday's Group C game at Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier.
"Marta went back to training, we are still going to have a meeting to see how she feels and make a decision," Brazil coach Vadao said. "We've increased the training bit by bit until we have certainty. We are going through the motions with Marta.
"Will she be in the pitch? Probably. But we haven't had a chance to make a decision yet."
Even without Marta, Brazil rolled to a 3-0 opening victory Sunday over Jamaica to end a nine-game losing streak. Cristiane became the oldest player to notch a hat trick at the World Cup when the 34-year-old striker scored on a header, a tap-in and a free kick.
She claimed the record from Cristiano Ronaldo, who was 33 when he scored a hat trick for Portugal against Spain in last year's World Cup.
Australia, meanwhile, is trying to regroup after an upset loss to Italy in its opening game. Italy surprised the Matildas with a goal in stoppage time, and coach Ante Milicic is under pressure against Brazil.
"Whether we are favorites or underdogs does not concern me," Milicic said.
But defender Steph Catley promised the late upset versus Italy has Australia motivated for a strong showing.
"When you lose a game like that, it really lights something inside that you don't want that to happen again," Catley said. "I believe we'll have a strong reaction against Brazil."