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Women’s World Cup: Brazil, England open play with victories

Women’s World Cup: Brazil, England open play with victories
Brazil's Cristiane celebrates after scoring one of her three goals on Sunday. (Guillaume Horcajuelo / EPA-EFE / REX)

Cristiane scored all three goals and Brazil spoiled Jamaica's debut in the Women's World Cup with a 3-0 victory on Sunday in Grenoble, France.

The veteran forward's goal in the 64th minute for the hat trick came on a free kick that curled just under the crossbar. She also scored in the 15th and 50th minutes for the Brazilians, who were playing without star Marta. The six-time women's world player of the year was ruled out of the match because of a left thigh injury.

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Brazil stopped a nine-game losing streak that began with a 4-1 defeat to the U.S. last Aug. 2.

The loss could have been worse for the Reggae Girlz, but goalkeeper Sydney Schneider stopped Andressa's penalty kick in the 38th minute. The save prompted countryman Usain Bolt to tweet “Yes mi keeper.” Jamaica is the first Caribbean nation to play in the Women's World Cup.

It is Brazil's first hat trick in a World Cup since 1999. Cristiane is the ninth player to score 10 career World Cup goals; Marta holds the record with 15.

England also got off to a winning start, with Ellen White curling in a shot to give the 2015 semifinalists a 2-1 victory against tournament newcomers Scotland in Nice, France.

In a dominant first half, Nikita Parris netted a penalty kick in the 14th minute before White struck in the 40th on the French Riviera.

But there was no repeat of England's 6-0 rout of its neighbor at the European Championship two years ago, with Scotland ensuring it was a nervy end for England coach Phil Neville's side after Claire Emslie pulled one back in the 79th.

But the 20th-ranked Scots couldn't produce an equalizer against No. 3 England in Group D, which also features Japan and Argentina.

Despite FIFA's attempts to talk up ticket sales at the World Cup, the stadium in Nice was only about a third full with the attendance given as 13,188.

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