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Marta makes history as Brazil secures spot in Women's World Cup knockout round

Marta kissing her shoe.
Photo: Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images

Brazilian great Marta Vieira da Silva scored on a second-half penalty to secure a 1-0 victory over Italy and guarantee Brazil a spot in the knockout round.

Why it matters: This was Marta's 17th World Cup goal, making her the most prolific scorer in World Cup history (both men and women).

  • All-time leaders: Marta, Brazil (17 goals); Miroslav Klose, Germany (16); Ronaldo, Brazil (15); Birgit Prinz, Germany (14); Abby Wambach, USA (14); Gerd Muller, Germany (14).
  • The 33-year-old Marta also became the first player to score at five different World Cups, a testament to her longevity and a reminder of just how long she's been one of the faces of this sport.

The big picture: Marta is a six-time FIFA World Player of the Year (now called Best FIFA Women's Player), winning four straight awards from 2006 to 2010, and then another one last year while starring for the Orlando Pride of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL).

  • She's widely regarded as the most gifted woman to ever play the game. And yet, like the great Lionel Messi, Marta has never won a World Cup. Her best finish: 2007 runner-up.
  • Yesterday's goal was historic, but the most important thing is that Brazil advanced to the next round, breathing new life into Marta's pursuit of a world championship and the immortality that comes with it.

More Women's World Cup:

  • Australia 4, Jamaica 1: 25-year-old Samantha Kerr, who plays for the NWSL's Chicago Red Stars, scored all four of Australia's goals.
  • Title IX effect: The global impact of Title IX is on full display at the Women's World Cup, with NCAA-schooled internationals anchoring many of the world's top squads.
  • Today, 3pm ET: Group D action: England (6 pts) vs. Japan (4) — Argentina (1) vs. Scotland (0)

Go deeper: What to watch for in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup