Striker Cristiane has scored her 11th career Olympic goal during Brazil's 5-0 drubbing of Cameroon in Cardiff. She has now officially surpassed recently-retired German goal machine Birgit Prinz.
It was little surprise when heavy favorites Brazil obliterated Cameroon at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, but their meaningless fourth goal in the 80th minute made history in women's Olympic football.
Cristiane, a 27-year-old striker who played at the Games in Athens and Beijing, latched on to a killer pass from superstar Marta, rounded the goalkeeper and slotted the ball into an empty net. It was her 11th Olympic goal, and it put her into a class of one - now ahead of German star striker Birgit Prinz.
Birgit Prinz represented Germany one last time against her club FFC Frankfurt in a March testimonial
"This is special, I knew I was tied and needed just one more to get the record for myself," Cristiane said after the game, adding that the moment was doubly sweet considering that an injury had nearly relegated her to the sidelines for London 2012. "All I can think about is the time I spent trying to recover from my recent injury, practicing alone and not knowing if I was going to the Olympics."
Still not fully fit, Cristiane only entered the fray as a second half substitute, replacing teenager Thais Guedes.
Cristiane averages nearly a goal per game in her Brazilian career, five-time World Player of the Year Marta is the only current Brazil player with a better strike-rate across all competitions.
A new princess crowned
She has taken an Olympic record away from another multiple World Player of the Year, German striker Birgit Prinz. Prinz, still the all-time leading World Cup goal-scorer having netted 14 times in those competitions, scored 10 Olympic goals.
Prinz played 214 games for Germany, finding the net on 128 occasions. Her inability to secure a place in the German side was a key storyline of the 2011 World Cup in Germany, she formally announced her retirement later that summer and was honored with a testimonial game this March.
All 12 Olympic competitors were in action around Britain on Wednesday. The opening day of competition, preceeding Friday's official opening ceremony, was marred by a major mix-up in Glasgow. The North Korean team, which went on to win 2-0 against Colombia, walked off the pitch after their pictures and names were displayed on the stadium big-screen next to the South Korean flag.
North and South Korea remain effectively at war to this day, almost 60 years after signing a truce, not a peace treaty. Olympic organizers LOCOG described the incident as "a mistake." South Korea did not qualify for the Olympic women's football tournament.
In Wednesday's other games, the defending champions from the US came from behind to beat France 4-2, World Cup winners Japan won 2-1 against Canada, hosts Britain won 1-0 against New Zealand, and Sweden thrashed South Africa 4-1.
Germany failed to qualify for the Olympics, owing to their quarter-final defeat to eventual winners Japan at last year's World Cup.
msh/jm (AFP, AP, Reuters)