Just Women’s Sports is here with your daily World Cup Digest, breaking down all of the biggest storylines from each day of action in Australia and New Zealand.
A legendary World Cup career came to an end Wednesday, as Marta and Brazil bowed out in the group stage in a scoreless draw with Jamaica. She leaves her final World Cup as the top goalscorer in tournament history.
Marta nearly added another Wednesday in her first start of the tournament for Brazil. She came inches from finding the back of the net in the fifth minute.
Marta comes this close to finding the opener 👀🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/u3JK70bUMg— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 2, 2023
Marta comes this close to finding the opener 👀🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/u3JK70bUMg
Ultimately, though, Brazil fell short, marking the first time since 1995 that the team has failed to advance out of the group stage. In contrast, Jamaica earned its first trip to the knockout rounds. Marta and Jamaica’s Khadija “Bunny” Shaw shared a moment after the match in a symbolic passing of the guard.
Marta and Bunny Shaw share a moment after the match ❤️ pic.twitter.com/LIkNYN4oun— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 2, 2023
Marta and Bunny Shaw share a moment after the match ❤️ pic.twitter.com/LIkNYN4oun
And Marta herself issued a call to action in a passionate postgame interview.
“Continue supporting women’s football,” she said. “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to play in another World Cup… Hugely grateful. … But for (my teammates) it’s not over, for Brazil and the world, continue to support. For Marta, that is the last World Cup. For me, that is the end, but it’s just the beginning for the others.”
The 37-year-old forward won’t be retiring from the game just yet, but ahead of the tournament she said that “we have to understand that a time comes for us to prioritize other things.”
She not only stands as the top goalscorer in tournament history but also the first player to score in five consecutive World Cups, though she did not score in this one.
“I knew that she was big, she’s a famous player,” Brazil coach Pia Sundhage had said before the game. “[But I] couldn’t even imagine how big she is in Brazil. … I get very emotional just being around such a good player. Not only what she’s going to do tomorrow, but what she’s done for so many years and been a fantastic role model.”
After crowdfunding their way to the World Cup, Jamaica will advance to the knockout rounds for the first time. The unforgettable moment was celebrated by the players and coaches after Wednesday’s draw with Brazil to close out the group stage.
“This is one of the best days I’ve ever had in my life,” Jamaica coach Lorne Donaldson said. “To see a country like Jamaica be able to do this, it’s unbelievable. The girls are doing it for the country, the country should be proud.
“We had resilience, fight. We are going into a war and we need to be ready,” he added. “And it was a war, and we stayed in the battle.”
BUNNY SHAW AND JAMAICA DESERVE TO CELEBRATE 🇯🇲 pic.twitter.com/C2KJfsTUGL— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 2, 2023
BUNNY SHAW AND JAMAICA DESERVE TO CELEBRATE 🇯🇲 pic.twitter.com/C2KJfsTUGL