Brazil opened their Jordan 2016 campaign in the best possible fashion with a hard-fought 1-0 win over African champions Nigeria. A brilliant chip by the South Americans’ lively No10, Micaelly, proved the difference between the teams at the King Abudullah II Stadium in Amman and gives Luizao’s side an early advantage in Group C.
Brazil were the more cohesive and inventive side and, initially at least, simply lacked a cutting edge to complement their fine approach play. Indeed, despite their early dominance, the South Americans had their keeper to thank for keeping them on level terms when the game’s first big chances were created. Twice within a few seconds midway through the first half, Kemelli was called upon to deny Nigeria, first tipping wide a Mary-Ann Ezanagu chance and then leaping to her left to claw out Christy Ucheibe’s effort from the resulting corner.
Nonetheless, Brazil remained the better side and it was no more than they deserved when Micaelly gave them a 41st-minute lead. Nigeria keeper Chiamaka Nnadozie initially looked to have averted danger when, with Ana Votira racing through, she charged from her goal to clear at the striker’s feet. However, Nnadozie’s clearance landed straight at the feet of Brazil’s No10 and, even with two covering defenders in her way, Micaelly had the skill and composure required to measure an inch-perfect chip over their heads and into the Nigerian net.
Sadly, there was nothing in a disappointing second half to match that moment of magic, with tough tackling more prevalent than skill or invention. Brazil, though, will simply be happy to have emerged with a win that leaves them well placed in a section that also includes England and Korea DPR.