Last year Alexandra Popp missed Germany’s Euro final against England through a last-minute injury.
How badly she was missed on that occasion was evidenced by the two goals she struck as the Euro runners-up opened their Women’s World Cup campaign with a 6-0 thrashing of newcomers Morocco in Melbourne in Group H.
Klara Buhl struck a third just after halftime and Morocco’s Hanane Ait el Haj and Yasmin Mrabet added to their problems with own goals.
Substitute Lea Schuller scored the German sixth with Morocco all at sea to satisfy the demands of German coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg and despite the absences of injured Lena Oberdorf and Marina Hegering.
Brazil’s Ary Borges scored the first hat-trick of these finals as Brazil defeated Panama 4-0 in Group F.
The winger headed two in the first half, provided a backheeled assist for Bia Zaneratto after the interval and completed her treble with another header.
Brazil have won all nine of their opening games at Women’s World Cups.
Earlier, in Group G, striker Cristiana Girelli came off the bench to head an 87th-minute winner to edge Italy to a 1-0 victory over Argentina.
Girelli had appeared only four minutes earlier in place of Giulia Dragoni who, at 16 years 259 days, was one of the youngest players in the tournament’s history.
Credit: AIPS Media