x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Brazil pushed to improve

Lima demands better from his side while Japan can book their place in quarter-finals tonight with victory over Mexico.

Kleiton Lima, the Brazil coach, has admitted his team need to raise their game if they want to lift a first women's World Cup title.

Lima was left unimpressed by what he saw on Wednesday in their opening Group D game against Australia, which they won 1-0, and wants a better showing in the remainder of the tournament.

"We have to improve," he said ahead of Sunday's clash with Norway. "In the first half [against Australia] we got more than 20 passes wrong. Once we got the ball we couldn't keep it. This was the main flaw in the first half. It's something we have to correct straight away."

Norway, like Brazil, won their opening game by a solitary goal, in their case they saw off tournament newcomers Equatorial Guinea, and Lima is expecting another tough encounter at a tournament where he does not believe there are any easy games.

"This is the most competitive World Cup ever, the strongest. Female football has come a long way in four years," he said.

"This cup has a lot of glamour, because Germans love women's football and we knew we would have to play very hard to win matches."

Lima admitted that he and his coaching staff were trying not to put too much pressure on the five-time World Player of the Year Marta, who was well contained by the Australians.

"Marta is a fantastic player, above average, a genius when she has the ball," he said. "You cannot place everything on Marta. The other players have to help Marta and she has to help them. It's a collective game. She's a weapon we have and no other team have it but us."

"Whenever we have the possibility to play in a collective fashion we do it."

Today's action is in Group B and begins with table topping Japan looking to secure a spot in the last eight with a victory over Mexico.

England and New Zealand meet in the second game, with both sides targeting their first success in the tournament.