Women's football: Stoney wants repeat showing in Brazil match

Great Britain captain Casey Stoney has challenged her team to reproduce the form they showed in the first half against Cameroon when they meet Brazil.

GB scored twice in the opening 45 minutes at Cardiff on their way to claiming a 3-0 victory.

The win secured a place in the quarter-finals before the final group game against Brazil at Wembley on Tuesday.

"We would have taken that definitely before the tournament and our aim now is to top the group," said Stoney.

"The first-half performance against Cameroon was one of the best I have been involved in. It was great football."

Skipper Stoney opened the scoring with a close-range finish before Jill Scott finished a stunning move.

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I think the challenges were clumsy from Cameroon more than anything else

Hope Powell Great Britain coach

Kelly Smith picked out Kim Little with a superb through ball before the Scottish forward found Scott with a sublime backheel that completely opened up the Indomitable Lionesses' defence.

"The vision from Kim Little to backheel it, the quality of the finishing, it was superb," added Stoney.

"It will now be great to go out against Brazil and see how we fare. The pressure is off and if we can play like we did in the first half against Cameroon then we have got a chance of finishing top. The challenge is to reproduce that for a whole match."

Brazil beat New Zealand on Saturday to join GB in securing qualification from Group E with a game to spare, and the encounter between the two will determine who finishes top of the group.

The importance of finishing first cannot be overstated because that team will take on a side third in either Group F or G in their quarter-final tie.

In contrast, the team that comes second in Group E will face the runner-up of Group F, which is likely to be either Sweden or Canada.

"The challenge was to get out of the group and we have done that," said GB coach Hope Powell.

"And without being disrespectful to any other teams, if we can win the group it will give us the chance to play a side that comes third in another group.

"We will be looking to win at Wembley. It will be a fantastic occasion and we want to go out and give a good representation of ourselves.

"Brazil have got some real talents in their team and we cannot ignore the fact they are always there or thereabouts in major tournaments, but like every side they have weaknesses and we will try to exploit that."

Analysis

"Steph Houghton is the golden girl at the minute. She can't do anything wrong. She seems to be brimming with confidence. Her passing has been fantastic and two goals in two games is not a bad start for a left-back."

The South American side boasts numerous top-quality players including forward duo Cristiane and Marta, who have both scored twice so far in the tournament.

Brazil won the silver medal at the 2004 and 2008 Games and are regarded as one of the favourites at the current tournament, although they were not at their most fluent against the Football Ferns on Saturday.

When asked whether GB could beat Brazil, Hope answered: "Why not? We are going to try."

But she may well be forced into changes for that match after a bruising encounter on Saturday that saw central defender Ifeoma Dieke stretchered from the field, Anita Asante take a kick in the face and Kelly Smith fail to appear after half-time.

Powell revealed that Dieke, one of two Scottish players in the squad, will have a scan on a knee injury on Sunday, but said that the withdrawal of Smith was precautionary.

"We are organising a scan for Ifeoma and we will wait and see what happens," added Powell.

"I think the challenges were clumsy from Cameroon more than anything else. I said to the girls before the game that they should expect a physical match.

"I told them they should not expect the referee to give them decisions. Simply from watching the men against Senegal the other night, they had a tough encounter with a referee who seemed determined to let the game flow.

"We tried to keep the ball moving to protect players and I am just pleased most of them have come off unscathed."