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Brazil opens Group D play against Australia

Jun 28, 2011 - 8:42 PM Monchengladbach, Germany (Sports Network) - Brazil has entered the 2011 Women's World Cup with just one thought in mind, winning its first major trophy.

After reaching the final of the 2007 edition as well as the 2004 and 2008 Olympic soccer tournament finals, Brazil is clearly a nation that is on the verge of breaking through in women's soccer.

Brazil's quest for the trophy begins on Wednesday against Australia in Group D play, with the Brazilians tabbed as heavy favorites to win the group, which also includes Norway and Equatorial Guinea.

In addition to having the best women's player on the planet in Marta, Brazil also possesses a lethal compliment in forward Cristiane, who knows how urgent it is for Brazil to finally bring home a trophy.

"We've already done so much to change the way women's football is perceived and the backing it receives in Brazil," Cristiane told

"But here in Brazil, particularly in footballing circles that have been spoiled with success over the years, nobody pays any attention to those results, they're only interested in titles."

Australia's World Cup expectations are a bit lower than their South American opponents as the Matildas will be looking to build on the progress they made in the 2007 World Cup.

In addition to earning its first-ever win in the competition, the team reached the knockout round for the first time, and with coach Tom Sermanni bringing a youthful side to Germany, which has an average age of 22, the coach is a little unsure about what to expect from his team.

"The negative of our youthful squad is the unknown," Sermanni told "If things go well there is no problem, but if not it's a case of which players stand up. However, the squad has a certain energy and confidence which perhaps wasn't the case in previous generations."