Algarve Cup Day 2 round-up: Spain lead the way
Credit: Sophie Lawson/VAVEL UK

Algarve Cup Day 2 round-up: Spain lead the way

What does the final day of games have in store?

Sophie Lawson

Canada, Spain and Sweden lead their respective groups after the second day of action.

Group A

Sophie Schmidt gave Canada the lead ten minutes into the game with a close range header before Christine Sinclair pounced on a sloppy back-pass to fire a low shot just inside of the far post. Cruising through the first-half, Canada found their chances reduced after the break, Russia coming more into the game after Daria Makarenko’s header just before the hour. With the score delicately balanced Deanne Rose shirked the chance to seal the win at the death as her shot to the far corner drifted millimetres wide.

Meanwhile, Denmark did well to bounce back from their opening match last-minute loss, as they hit Portugal for six in Parchal. Braces for both Stine Larsen and Sanne Troelsgaard as well as lone goals for both Line Jensen and Katrine Veje was more than enough for the Red and Whites as they dominated proceedings, Portugal taken apart as the Danes gave their goal difference – and chance of a higher placement match – a boost.

Group B

Japan started to look like their old selves again when they started against Iceland, Nadeshiko two goals to the good in the first half courtesy of Yui Hasegawa, the side completely overrunning their opponents. Improvements from Iceland brought them back into the game after the break and they did well to keep Japan at bay but a lack of real bite going forward killed any chances of them finding a way back with their opposition always looking dangerous.

The surprise package of the tournament this year has been Spain, La Roja leading the standings after two wins with a healthier goal difference than their nearest rivals, Canada. Spain were handed a boost early in their game against Norway after a spectacular own goal from a returning Maria Thorisdottir, the centre-back volleying the ball high into the air for it to arc over Cecilie Friskerstrand, with her shin. A goal up and on top, Spain continued to push and press and were rewarded a second goal through Jenni Hermoso, the Barcelona attacker with a low shot fired into the far corner. Norway’s first-half misery compounded when Olga Garcia smashed the ball into the open net after Friskerstrand has parried her initial effort.

Even going down to ten on the stroke of half-time after Mapi Leon was shown a second yellow did nothing to dispel Spain who kept Norway quiet to come out the other side with a 3-0 win.

Group C

It was a frantic finish when Australia went up against the Netherlands, the Matildas a goal to the good after Loes Geurts had made a hash of claiming Emily Gielnik inswinging corner, the ball drifting through her gloves at the near post. Gielnik the hero for Australia again when her direct free kick soared over the box before smashing into the far corner. Set-pieces the ruin of Holland as Alanna Kennedy made it three before the break, her bullet header from close range leaving Geurts rooted.

Having continued to create chances throughout the first-half, the Netherlands looked a little more out of the game until after the hour when two goals in four minutes made for a grand-stand finish. Vivianne Miedema’s low strike gave the team confidence before Sherida Spitse’s direct free kick from 20 yards left Lydia Williams with no chance. The Oranje achingly close to a stoppage-time equaliser but Williams refused to be beaten once more for Australia to pick up their first win of the tournament.

The only match of the day not to see any goals was China versus Sweden, although neither side could break the deadlock there was still plenty of action for the fans to enjoy with both sides having plenty of chances throughout. Although both sides were going for the win neither were able to take their chances when they came and were forced to settle for the draw.

Current standings

Team Pts GD
Spain 6 +4
Canada 6 +2
Sweden 4 +1
Denmark 3 +5
Japan 3 +1
Australia 3 0
Netherlands 3 0
Russia 3 0
China 1 -1
Iceland 1 -2
Norway 1 -3
Portugal 0 -7