Brazil vs. Panama: Top Storylines, Odds, Live Stream for Women’s World Cup 2023
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Chris Hyde – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
Marta will lead Brazil into the World Cup for the sixth time, looking to capture the one championship that has eluded her throughout her iconic career in her final appearance in the tournament.
The Brazilian squad is young and inexperienced but has high hopes of an impressive showing that will fuel success far after Marta takes her last bow.
Their journey to the cup begins with a battle against a young Panama team with nothing to lose, captained by a young star in Marta Cox who is motivated by personal loss and a desire to grow the sport in her country.
Dive deeper into those storylines with this preview of the group stage contest, including when and where you can watch the match.
Odds, Live Streaming, Schedule
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Chris Hyde – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
Brazil (-6000; bet $100, win $101.66)
Draw (+2000; bet $100, win $2100)
Panama (+4500; bet $100, win $4600)
Schedule and Viewing Info
Date: Monday, July 24
Time: 7:00 a.m.
TV: Fox Sports 1
Streaming: Fox Sports app
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
Marta’s Final World Cup Provides Inspiration for Brazil
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Justin Setterfield – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
Marta made her first World Cup appearance 20 years ago at the age of 17. Since then, she has earned the reputation of the best player of her generation and scored more World Cup goals (17) than any player in either men’s or women’s competition.
The 2023 tournament will be her final, she announced earlier this month, citing a need to prioritize other things.
She has scored 117 goals for Brazil, more than any other player in the team’s long and prestigious history, and was named FIFA’s World Player of the Year on six occasions. She has two silver medals but despite all of her accomplishments, has yet to hoist the World Cup trophy.
That could change this go-round but unlike in years past, she will not be relied upon as heavily to carry the team, especially after undergoing surgery for a torn ACL last year and missing 11 months of play.
Head coach Pia Sundhage has assembled a team of young players that will, hopefully, form the foundation of the nation’s women’s soccer team for the foreseeable future.
Still, the team will absolutely look toward their iconic teammate for inspiration.
“Marta is the queen, Marta is the icon and just to be around her is contagious,” Sundhage said. Even with that said, there is no guarantee the star will start for the team.
“Brazil is not only one player. It is a team.”
Sundhage knows what it takes to excel in international play.
She played for Sweden in the 1991 World Cup and won a European Women’s Championship. From there, she coached the United States to Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012 and a second-place finish in the 2011 World Cup.
She will put players like 17-year-old Aline Gomes, a potential breakout star in this year’s tournament, in the best position to succeed while Marta will have the opportunity to teach and inspire while sharing the same pitch with her.
Even if that means coming off the bench to do so.
Panama, Marta Cox Lay the Groundwork for Future Success
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Darrian Traynor – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
There is very little chance that Panama advances beyond the group stage in this World Cup.
A 7-0 loss to Spain on June 29 established fairly quickly that they were probably overmatched entering this particular tournament.
For Panama, the 2023 World Cup will represent an opportunity to lay the groundwork for future success. It is a foundational tournament for a country hoping to establish itself as an international presence for years to come.
It certainly has a centerpiece player to build around.
Marta Cox is a 25-year-old star-in-the-making who became the first Panamanian player to win the Costa Rica women’s league. She is a direct player, pushing forward whenever she gets the ball. She is physical and helps set the tone for the rest of the team.
She also enters the tournament grieving her mother, who passed away in May of 2022. She wears a T-shirt emblazoned with a photo of her mother during warmups and keeps it on the sidelines, a way of ensuring her spirit is with her.
“Qualifying for the World Cup makes me happy. But I also wish my mom were here, because her big dream was to reach a World Cup,” she said in an interview on the My New Favorite Futbolista podcast (h/t Yahoo Sports for the transcription).
Cox credited her teammates and coaches with motivating her to get back on the field after the traumatic loss.
“That voice of encouragement, that desire that they gave me to not give up. Telling me, ‘We need you.’ So those words kind of filled me with strength to go out on the field and be me.”
Panama named Cox team captain and will rely on her to guide it through a group stage that is tough, but will give the squad a taste of what it can expect as it hopes to make a greater impact on the world stage in years to come.