- Associated Press - Saturday, June 20, 2015

Brazilian star Marta is rested and ready for the knockout stage at the Women’s World Cup.

The 29-year-old striker sat out of Brazil’s final group-stage match against Costa Rica, with her team already assured a spot in the next stage. The seventh-ranked Brazilians will play No. 10 Australia in the knockout round on Sunday in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Canada’s far eastern coast.

“It’s a different moment all together - it does not allow us to make mistakes, it does not allow us to lose and recover the next time, because there will not be a next time,” Marta said Saturday through a translator. “We have to be precise. We have to be focused for a final, because every game from now on is a final.”

Brazil won all three matches in its group, and is the only team to advance without conceding a goal in the opening stage.

Brazil has been to every World Cup since the women’s version started in 1991. The team’s best finish was runner-up in 2007, when the Brazilians lost 2-0 to Germany in the final.

That was Marta’s second World Cup.

Known simply by her first name, Marta Vieira da Silva is arguably one of the best women to ever play the game. She was named FIFA Player of the Year an unprecedented five straight times from 2006-10.

In Brazil’s opening group-stage game against South Korea, she scored on a penalty kick, becoming the career leading scorer in the Women’s World Cup with 15 goals.

Marta hopes to ride Brazil’s winning streak all the way through to the World Cup final in Vancouver on July 5.

“We are very at peace with ourselves, with our roles, with our quality, and what we need to do,” she said.

Australia survived Group D, the so-called Group of Death, finishing second behind the second-ranked United States after a 1-all draw with No. 5 Sweden in the group finale.

The Matildas, in peak game shape after facing two top-five teams, have speed on their side, defender Elise Kellond-Knight said.

“I think we’re a very dynamic team and the Brazilians may have a little bit of a weakness in their backline in terms of pace,” she said. “So if we can exploit that, I think we’ll end up with a really good result.”

The two teams have met twice before in the World Cup, with Brazil winning both matches.

WHO TO WATCH FOR THE MATILDAS: Captain Lisa De Vanna and Kyah Simon have accounted for Australia’s four goals so far in the World Cup with two apiece.

De Vanna made her 100th international appearance in the group stage. The 30-year-old forward has 38 career goals - and she has scored in each of the three World Cups she has appeared in.

Simon, 23, scored both goals in a 2-0 group-stage victory over Nigeria.

FORMIGA’S MARK: Formiga became the oldest woman to score in a World Cup at age 37 with a goal in Brazil’s opening 2-0 victory over South Korea.

The veteran midfielder is making her sixth World Cup appearance, tying her for the record with Japan’s Homare Sawa. She made her debut in the 1995 World Cup as a 17-year-old.

To mark her 20th year with the national team, Formiga is wearing the No. 20 in Canada.

“Formiga does not belong to Planet Earth, she does not belong on this planet,” Brazil coach Vadao said.

SPEAKING: “We know from here on, we cannot be good. We have to be excellent,” Vadao said.

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