Cyprus Cup matchday 3 round-up

Italy and Spain to contest final.

Cyprus Cup matchday 3 round-up
Credit: VAVEL UK/Sophie Lawson

Placement matches were all confirmed as the group stage wrapped up in Cyprus.

Group A

All but guaranteed a spot in the final, Italy looked to ease off of the gas when they sparred with a Finland team yet to pick up a point or even score a goal in Cyprus, the two sharing opposing fortunes. With nothing to lose, Finland came out of the blocks firing and saw the better chances over the first half, Emmi Alanen’s clinical penalty fast cancelled out by Valentina Giacinti. Tied up at the break, the second half saw another two penalties, Alanen still favouring the left side of the goal for her second and Manuela Giugliano no different as she restored parity late in the day. The point enough for a rampant Italy side to claim the first spot in the final, Finland’s lone point not enough to keep them out of the bottom placement match.

On the other side of the same lot, Switzerland and Wales played out an entertaining 0-0, the Dragons defensively firm to keep La Nati out as they looked to find something more after the break. Tied for points in Group A, goal difference has proved to be key with Switzerland advancing to the bronze medal match as Wales will contest seventh place.

Group B

Still showing plenty of mettle, Belgium improved their standing with a scrappy win over Austria, their opposition struggling to get going and left short at the break after Jana Coryn’s opener. With the game winding down, Heleen Jaques put it out of reach with a deft header to beat Manuela Zinsberger, putting Laura De Neve’s pinpoint free kick away. With four and three points respectively, Belgium with go for a fifth-place finish whilst Austria will attempt to avoid finishing eighth.

In another frustrating game, Spain struggled to find the magic touch to put their chances away, the team never far from scoring with the woodwork routinely rattled during the match. Up against a stubborn Czech defence, La Roja did themselves no favours with their finishing, Irene Paredes’ header fifteen minutes from time enough to settle the match. A scrappy effort from Alexia Putellas at the death, requiring more than a few touches to see the ball home, enough to see Spain finish just above Korea DPR on goals scored alone and make it to the final. For their efforts, the Czech Republic will battle for ninth against Slovakia.

Group C

A team pulling out a surprise or two, South Africa remained defensively resilient against a fine Korea DPR side that looked to be running away in the group. A 0-0 result enough to keep the Asian side top, the only CAF team at the tournament finishing the group in a credible second position meaning they will contest fifth place. Tied for points with both Italy and Spain, Korea’s seven points has been offset by their goal tally, the highest ranked team at the tournament demoted to the bronze medal match.

Two teams struggling so far in the tournament, Slovakia’s lone point from a draw against South Africa had them edging their Hungarian opposition, though neither side had claimed a goal until their final group match. An even contest over the first half, Zsanett Jakabfi’s opener was all to separate the pair at the break but a resurgence from Repre saw them draw level through Patrícia Fischerová after the hour. The draw enough to take Slovakia into the ninth place play off and leave Hungary battling not to finish dead last.

Fixtures

11-12th Place (11am): Finland vs Hungary

9-11th Place (11am): Czech Republic vs Slovakia

7-8th Place (11am): Wales vs Austria

5-6th Place (3pm): Belgium vs South Africa

Bronze medal match (2pm): Switzerland vs Korea DPR

Grand final (6pm): Italy vs Spain

All fixtures will take place on Wednesday 7 March, times are GMT +2