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Brazil, Norway open with wins

Goals continued to be difficult to come by at the Women's World Cup in Germany, and Wednesday was the leanest day yet.

Brazil, with five-time world player of the year Marta (who also plays for the WNY Flash) leading its attack, managed to score only once in a 1-0 victory over Australia in Moenchengladbach. Earlier, former world champion Norway struggled to accomplish even that much in a 1-0 win over Equatorial Guinea in Augsburg.

So far, in eight World Cup matches involving each of the 16 teams in the tournament, only 14 goals have been scored, an average of 0.875 per game.

More was expected from the Brazilians, who, along with host Germany and the U.S., were favored to win the World Cup. But the offense has yet to click, to the disappointment of the 27,258 who were at the Borussia Park Stadium to see some flair and some goals in the Brazil-Australia match.

"I was really pleased with the way we defended against Marta," Australia's Scottish coach Tom Sermanni said. "I don't know if she got a shot on goal today."

What they got was an evenly played game in which veteran defender Rosana's goal in the 54th minute provided the difference between the teams.

Rosana was unlucky to see her header land on the roof of the net in the ninth minute, after a flowing move instigated by Marta's delightful chip forward.

"Our passing is where we made most of our mistakes," said Brazil coach Kleiton Lima. "We couldn't keep hold of the ball. Luckily, we got the goal in a very demanding and even game and that's put us at ease."

The heavily favored Norwegians had hit the post three times and looked as if they were going to have to settle for a 0-0 draw before substitute Leni Larsen Kaurin broke free on the right and passed to Haavi low in an open center.

Captain Anonman had several clear chances for Equatorial Guinea, a nation of 670,000 in West Africa with a FIFA ranking of 61, the lowest in the tournament.

"I had a feeling we could have won the game after all," Equatorial Guinea coach Marcello Frigerio said. "The country is new to all this. It is a completely new adventure."