(Reuters/NAN) Brazil’s Cristiane scored a hat-trick as the former finalists sealed a superb 3-0 victory over women’s World Cup debutants, Jamaica, on Sunday to kick off their campaign in style.
The victory at Stade des Alpes in Grenoble meant Vadao’s side maintained their perfect record in World Cup openers.
The team had snapped a run of nine straight defeats in the lead-up to the tournament since a 2-1 win over Japan, last July.
Cristiane started in place of fellow forward, Marta, who was ruled out of the game with a thigh problem.
She gave Brazil the lead in the 15th minute by meeting Barcelona midfielder, Andressa’s cross from the left with a header past Jamaica’s goalkeeper, Sydney Schneider.
The South Americans continued to create chances and could have doubled their lead after earning a penalty for handball by Jamaica defender, Allyson Swaby, but Schneider saved Andressa’s tame effort on goal seven minutes before the break.
Cristiane tucked in her second goal from a tight angle following the restart as Andressa provided the assist again.
The 34-year-old completed her hat-trick with a powerful free-kick that rattled the underside of the crossbar and landed in.
Brazil, who are aiming to surpass their best-ever finish in 2007 when they were beaten by Germany in the title clash, take on Australia in Montpellier in their next Group C contest on Thursday.
Jamaica will play against Italy in Reims on Friday.