March 4, 2011

Scotland and Holland Post Upsets at Cyprus Cup

Upsets were the order of the day at the Cyprus Cup. Scotland were able to shut out England by a 2-0 margin, while France was beaten by Holland 2-1. Canada won their second straight 1-0 shutout, this time over Italy.

Scotland 2, England 0

The Scots got their two goals from Arsenal Ladies players Jennifer Beattie and Kim Little to post a 2-0 victory over neighboring England on Friday. It was the first victory for Scotland against England in over 30 years.

Although it must be noted that England's best player, Kelly Smith, did not play in the match, it was still an impressive victory for Scotland.

Beattie, normally a defender, was moved forward in this match and it paid off handsomely for coach Anna Signeul. In addition to her goal, she also earned an assist on Little's goal in the 1st half.

Shannon Lynn picked up the shutout for Scotland, while a stout Scottish defense helped Lynn keep England off of the scoreboard.

Scotland will now face Italy on Monday, still with an outside chance to win Group A. They need help from England over Canada and then need to win their match by a greater margin.

Canada 1, Italy 0

Canada continued a pattern of strong performances, knocking off Italy 1-0. Young Jonelle Filigno scored the game's only goal, assisted by Christine Sinclair. Italy came close on a few occasions in the second half, but were unable to draw even.

Filigno, who is just 20 years old, scored her sixth career goal as member of the Canadian National Team.

Stephanie Labbé earned a shutout for the Canadians, who have not surrendered a goal in either match at Cyprus.

Canada will now face England on Monday, needing just a tie or a win to secure first place in Group A. Italy will play Scotland in their final Group A match.

Holland 2, France 1

Holland posted a 2-1 upset win over France in Group B action at the Cyprus Cup. Renee Slegers and Manon Melis scored for the victors. Camille Abily scored for France.

The victory over the 8th ranked team in the world puts Holland into the championship match next Wednesday. They will face Switzerland on Monday. France will play New Zealand to decide who finishes in second place for Group B.

New Zealand 2, Switzerland 1

The Football Ferns posted their first win at the Cyprus Cup, with a 2-1 win over Switzerland. New Zealand scored two late first half goals, one by Kirsty Yallop, the other by Betsy Hassett and took a 2-0 lead into the intermission.

Sandy Maendly scored a late goal for Switzerland to close within one, but New Zealand was able to finish with the win. Jenny Bindon got the victory in goal for New Zealand.

New Zealand will now face France on Monday with a chance to finish second in Group B.

Russia 2, Northern Ireland 1

After falling behind early, Russia was able to post a 2-1 win over Northern Ireland.

Ashley Hutton scored her second goal of the tournament to give Northern Ireland a 1-0 lead in the 9th minute. Tatiana Skotnikova answered to tie the score just before halftime. Elena Fomina converted a penalty in the 51st minute to give Russia the lead. A game Northern Ireland squad was unable to equalize.

Russia and South Korea both will enter the final contest with a win and a draw, with the two teams facing each other on Monday. Mexico has posted two ties and still has a chance should they defeat Northern Ireland and the other two teams tie.

Mexico 1, South Korea 1

For the second straight match, Mexico played to a draw, a 1-1 tie with South Korea. Jeon Ga-Eul scored in the 15th minute to give South Korea the early lead. Mexico got the tying goal in the 2nd half with Dinora Garza scoring on a free kick.

Mexico played the last 26 minutes of the match a player short, as Nayeli Rangel received a second yellow card. Erika Vanegas and the Mexican defense were able to keep South Korea off the board for the remainder of the match.

Mexico will face Northern Ireland on Monday and can still finish anywhere from first to fourth depending on the results of the two Group C matches. South Korea can win Group C with a victory against Russia.