This impressive win marked a strong start for Brazil in the tournament. With this victory, Brazil claimed the top spot in Group F, as France was held to a 0-0 draw by Jamaica in their opening match on Sunday.
Brazil, who finished as runners-up in the 2007 Women’s World Cup, have now won all nine of their opening matches in the history of the tournament, showcasing their consistency and strength on the global stage.
Right from the start, the tone was set for Panama when Adriana made an early break through and tested the Panamanian goalkeeper, Yenith Bailey, with a shot. The Brazilian attacking force continued to pressure Panama’s defense, with Debinha and Antonia having chances to score within the opening six minutes of the match.
Borges stole the limelight with her exceptional hat-trick, proving to be a key player for Brazil in their opening match. With such an emphatic victory, Brazil sent a strong message to their opponents and announced their intentions in the Women’s World Cup.
The win was a complete team effort, with Brazil’s attacking prowess and defensive solidity on display throughout the match. As they look to build on this successful start, Brazil will aim to continue their winning momentum in the subsequent matches of the tournament.
“We’re happy, the first game is always difficult. Four goals, and we played quite well,” Brazil coach Pia Sundhage said. “I think Borges is happy as well, scoring a hat-trick, she played well today…”
The South American heavyweights continued to launch wave after wave of attack on Panama’s hapless backline as they pressed for an opener, which arrived in the 19th minute when Debinha floated in a cross that was headed home by an unmarked Borges at the back post.
Borges netted her second of the match 20 minutes later as she poked in a rebound after having a header saved by Bailey.
The Brazilians turned on the style in the second half as Borges set up Bia Zaneratto with a backheel flick for the third in the 48th minute to finish off a well-worked team goal.
Borges then put the icing on the cake in the 70th minute when she got on the end of a cross from substitute Geyse to become the first-ever Brazilian to score a hat-trick on their Women’s World Cup debut.
The 23-year-old was substituted minutes later, walking off the pitch to be replaced by veteran Marta in what felt like the passing of the torch for the Brazilian team.
Marta enjoyed a lively cameo, registering an effort on target with a free-kick, but the forward was unable to add a record-extending 18th World Cup goal to her tally.
Panama, who were pinned back in their own half for much of the contest, had goalkeeper Bailey to thank for keeping the deficit in check after she made a string of excellent saves to thwart attempts from Luana, Adriana and Rafaelle.
Brazil next face France in a mouth-watering clash on Saturday in Brisbane, while Panama take on Jamaica in Perth later that day.
(With Reuters inputs)