Cyprus Cup matchday four round-up: Spain claim tournament honours

Spain claim tournament win as Korea DPR scoop third place.

Cyprus Cup matchday four round-up: Spain claim tournament honours
Credit: VAVEL UK/Sophie Lawson

Last matches take place in Cyprus as the friendly tournament draws to a close.

Bottom of the pack

Finding their form late in the group stages, Finland showed their class against a struggling Hungary side Linda Sällström’s first-half goal doubled after the break by Vittsjö teammate Emmi Alanen as Helmarit ran out 2-0 winners. 

For two teams struggling to find the back of the net in Cyprus, the tenth-place play-off was a veritable goal-fest. After Tereza Kožárová’s opener, the Czechs missed the chance to double their advantage when Barbora Votíková saw her spot-kick saved before Patrícia Hmírová converted from 12-yards to restore parity.

It wasn’t until after the hour when the match hit a higher tempo, Kožárová’s second giving the Czechs the lead, the third flying in ten minutes later courtesy of Aneta Dědinová.

A second for Slovakia brought them within in one, when Ľudmila Maťavková got the better of Barbora Votíková ten minutes from time. The comeback was however short-lived and late goals from Tereza Szewieczková and Kateřina Svitková saw the Czech Republic run out 5-2 winners.

Middle four

In a match that was very much attack against defence, Austria set the tone against Wales, the Dragons happy to sit back and absorb the pressure for the majority of the match.

Sarah Puntigam’s drive from outside the box all the separate the two at the break despite the lack of parity on the pitch. More adventure from Wales after the break saw little in the way of gains as their sterling defensive work kept the match in the balance, the late addition of Kayleigh Green enough to force penalties.

Following on from Green’s calm spot kick, Laura O’Sullivan pulled off another strong save to deny Laura Feiersinger before Nadia Lawrence opened a gap. From there on Austria built up a head of steam with Nina Burger, Jennifer Klein and Carina Wenninger all converting from 12-yards. The opposite true for Wales, Angharad James’ miss the catalyst as first Alice Griffiths saw her tame effort saved and Sophie Ingle clipped the outside of the post handing the win to Austria.

A sublime turn of pace and side of sloppy defending saw South Africa take an early lead, Noko Matlou with time and space in the box to send the ball towards the empty net, two Belgian defenders on the line unable to clear. The scrappy first half seeing a second and equally as unexpected goal when Tessa Wullaert side-footed the ball over the box and into the back of the net.  A physical match, even after the break had given both a chance to calm down, neither team was able to find a moment of quality to cut the parity until it looked like penalties would be needed to decide the tie. The spoils of fourth place falling to Belgium after a last-gasp goal from Yana Daniels the attacker rising well enough in the area to divert the ball home.

Bronze and gold finals

Following on from Im Yu Jong’s first-half opener, Korea DPR fell into a strong pattern, leaving Switzerland with little room to find a breakthrough, Kim Yun Mi’s stoppage-time goal ensuring there would be no comeback. Rachel Rinast’s consolation deep in stoppage time doing little to change the standings as Korea DPR claimed third.

In a scrappy game that Italy struggled to get into, Spain claimed the tournament honours with a considerably stronger performance than their opposition.

Despite their dominance it still took La Roja the best part of an hour to break the deadlock, Amanda Sampedro coming up trumps for her team at a corner, the match was not put to bed until Patri Guijarro made it 2-0 five minutes from time.