With the men crashing out in the group phase of the Panam tournament the women were left to carry the torch for Brazilian football and did not disappoint, delighting a crowd of nearly 70,000, the biggest to watch a women's match in Brazil.
They avenged an overtime defeat by the Americans in the Olympic final in Athens in 2004, ending the tournament without conceding a goal while scoring 33.
Marta, who scored 12 goals in five games, received the ultimate honour, stepping off the pitch into a cement mould to become the first woman to be enshrined in the Maracana walk of fame alongside the likes of Pele and Socrates.
''To be in the Hall of Fame with these very famous people is an honour,'' Marta told reporters. ''I have had many great moments, the silver medal at the Olympics, the honour of best player but this was a very special day, it showed to the country that women's football can and does have potential.'' Canada beat Mexico 2-1 to win the bronze medal.