Cyprus Cup matchday 2 round-up
Credit: VAVEL UK/Sophie Lawson

Cyprus Cup matchday 2 round-up

Italy continue to shine

Sophie Lawson

All the action from the second matchday of the Cyprus Cup,

Group A

Not content with their 3-0 last time out, Italy fast went to work on their next Group A opposition, the opening goal taking a little longer than against Switzerland. Still, their panache in attack showed through and the Azzurre found an opening less than twenty minutes in. Needing just three touches to make the goal, Cristiana Girelli touched her free kick to Manuela Giugliano who rolled it back for Girelli to smash into the bottom corner. The combination saw a second late in the first half at a rarely seen indirect free kick, the first touch cut out as Giugliano simply rolled the ball to Girelli for the 27-year-old to wallop over the wall and into the back of the net.

More adventure from Wales in the second half let the game open up, the Dragons unable to score there was at least some good news as Laura O’Sullivan saved a late penalty before Greta Adami grabbed a third at a late corner. The defeat, Wales’ first since July of last year and leaves them with a mixed bag for the tournament so far, Italy flying high with a second 3-0 on the bounce.

In the group claiming all of the goals, Switzerland dusted themselves off from their own 3-0 first-day loss to Italy to come out storming against  Finland. Goals from Alisha Lehmann, Marilena Widmer and Vanessa Bernauer sandwiched Ana-Maria Crnogorčević’s landmark 50th for her country as the Pearl Owls were thoroughly beaten.

Group B

Resuming their Cyprus Cup at the newly built AEK Arena, Austria looked for a better result against a Czech Republic side who’d upset the odds and come away with a win over Belgium two days before. The first half saw Austria come close a number of times, their opposition needing a while to get into the game, both fluffing opportunities throughout. The breakthrough didn’t come until after the hour, Das Team much better after the break but still failing to take their chances until a clean move saw Sarah Zadrazil lay the ball off for Laura Feiersinger to roll into the open net. With their tails up the second goal arrived moments afterwards, Feiersinger again, this time with a deft lob after having linked well with Zadrazil again. Just as in the first half, both sides saw chances throughout but neither could punish the mistakes made by the opposition, 0-2 the final score.

In a fixture many predicted would see goals, the fans were left wanting as Spain and Belgium played out a 0-0, La Roja unable to capitalise on their better chances including a second half Mari Paz penalty that was well saved by Justien Odeurs. For their part, Belgium remained defensively strong to quash their opposition, getting forward themselves, the Red Flames had similar problems converting

Group C

Off the back of a scoreless draw against South Africa, Slovakia were given a stern test against the highest ranked team at the tournament when they sparred with Korea DRP. The lunchtime match decided by a lone goal one the hour when Kim Phjong Hwa struck from range to give Chollima all three points.

Off and running South Africa claimed their first win at the tournament, Thembi Kgatalana’s lone goal after a flowing attack enough to claim all three points against Hungary.