News.France, Germany thrive as USA flounder-Cyprus Cup

Just as the Germans reclaimed a trophy they last won 2 yrs ago, so France ensured symmetry throughout the two competitions by repeating their 2012 Cyprus Cup triumph.

One more had pitted them against 2013 winners England, with each party showing plenty of signs for encouragement under their respective new coaches.
France, with Philippe Bergeroo now with the helm, shone on a group phase that included wins over Australia (3-2) plus the Netherlands (3-0), and a 1-1 draw with Scotland. The English, with regards to part, went one better with three straight wins and also a trio of clean sheets in seeing off Italy (2-0), Finland (3-0) and Canada (2-0).

But it was in france they who had the top of return yesterday’s final, with early goals from Gaetane Thiney and Camille Abily maintaining Les Bleues’ 40-year unbeaten run contrary to the Three Lionesses. "I was decisive inside first half,” said Bergeroo. “From then on, England couldn't keep coming back. Our goal ended up being to play and counter-attack, and that's whatever we did. Overall, I'm delighted by the tournament."

Though denied a morale-boosting win in his first significant tournament as England coach, Mark Sampson have also been far from unhappy. "France hurt us using their speed," said the 31-year-old, who were unbeaten visiting the experience. "However , if we have got into your game we started to regulate it and looked a far greater team, especially in the other half. So there was plenty of positives."

That same outlook has been shared by Korea Republic and Scotland, the teams that fatigued the 3rd-place play-off. The Scots, in point of fact, had looked guaranteed to book a final date while using ‘Auld Enemy’, having beaten Australia and the Netherlands and drawn with France, until a 94th-minute Wendie Renard goal up against the Dutch took the eventual winners through on goal difference.

And though Anna Signeul’s side were again doomed into their final fixture, losing on penalties south Koreans after a hard-fought 1-1 draw, Lisa Evans took the very best goalscorer award end every team in the top four with something to cheer. There was clearly even plus points for Women's World Cup hosts Canada, who'd have expected a lot better than a fifth-place finish, but still departed Cyprus with three wins from four games, having only fallen short resistant to the English.

Monday, May 26, 2014

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