Brazil's Borges in tears after scoring a hat trick on World Cup debut

The 23-year-old Borges called it 'one of the happiest days' of her life

By Reuters

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Brazil's Ary Borges celebrates her hat trick during the match against Panama. — AP
Brazil's Ary Borges celebrates her hat trick during the match against Panama. — AP

Published: Mon 24 Jul 2023, 9:38 PM

Brazil's Ary Borges said she went through the full gamut of emotions during her Women's World Cup debut in Monday's 4-0 win over Panama, adding that she was as surprised as anyone to score a hat trick in her first game at the showpiece event.

Borges fired three goals past Panama and set up another with a brilliant back-heel flick to get Brazil off to a winning start.

The 23-year-old, who plays for National Women's Soccer League club Racing Louisville, called it "one of the happiest days" of her life.

"I couldn't have imagined this in my wildest dream," Borges, who could not hold back the tears after her first goal, told reporters after the win.

"The debut in the World Cup in itself was a very special moment for me, just to be here. It's very special to be able to score three goals in a World Cup in my first game, but this is just the beginning of a long walk that we have ahead of us.

"The day was full of emotions. I think I had all the highs and lows that a human being can have. I was very happy. I was very nervous. I cried. I smiled... If anybody told me beforehand that I was going to score three goals on my debut I would have laughed in their faces."

With her three goals, Borges became the fourth player to score a hat trick in a Women's World Cup game for Brazil after Pretinha, Cristiane and Sissi, and the first to do it on her debut.

"I'm very happy to be part of this select group of players who have managed to score three goals in the World Cup...," Borges said.

"If I'm here today it's because these women have fought a lot for football in our country. So this is a very special moment to be able to be part of this, to be living this moment. It's a very nice story that I will be able to tell my family."

Borges was named Player of the Match for her incredible performance, receiving the trophy from Brazilian veteran Marta, who is playing in her sixth Women's World Cup and has scored a record 17 goals in the tournament.

Borges said she had asked to be awarded the trophy by Marta, adding: "Sometimes she doesn't even realise how much we admire her.

"She is truly a person that motivates us. So sharing this moment with her is very special for me. I admire her a lot."

Meanwhile, a late goal by Amalie Vangsgaard gave Denmark a 1-0 win over China but the Scandinavians know they will have to be a lot more polished when they meet reigning European champions England in their next World Cup Group D game on Friday.

Substitute Vangsgaard entered the fray in the 85th minute and headed home Pernille Harder's corner five minutes later to secure the win, and Harder said that there was plenty her team could be proud of, despite the performance.

Earlier, substitute Cristiana Girelli's 87th-minute header gave Italy a 1-0 win over Argentina in their Women's World Cup opener at Eden Park on Monday, denying the South Americans a first win at the global soccer showpiece.


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