Cyprus Cup Matchday 4 Preview

Here’s how the home nations coaches are approaching the matches their teams are set for on the last day of the Cyprus Cup.

By Tony Leighton

England have plenty to be excited about as they face Canada in the final, a repeat of the 2009 final which Hope Powell’s team won to lift the trophy.

Anna Signeul’s Scotland, who finished third behind England and New Zealand in Group A, face Group B’s third-placed team Holland in the game for fifth place.

Northern Ireland meet South Africa, who have already beaten Alfie Wylie’s side in Group C, to decide who finishes bottom of the 12-nation tournament.

It could be a good omen if England repeat their 2009 triumph as they went on to finish runners-up in that year’s Women’s European Championship finals.

National Coach Powell said: “Our main priority in Cyprus has been to step up our progress towards the Euros, but it’s great to have reached the final.

“It’s been a good, competitive tournament and the manner in which we’ve got to the final has been very pleasing.

“Reaching the final is a confidence booster in itself, and if we can now win the trophy it will be another big lift for the girls going into the summer.

“But Canada are very good side – they’re physical, they’re strong, fit and fast and they use all of that to their advantage.

“We’ve got to be prepared for that and do what we are good at, which is moving the ball around quickly.”

Scotland will take on a strong Holland team in good heart after performing impressively at the tournament.

Head Coach Signeul said: “After beating Italy in our last group game this is another good challenge against a team higher than us in the world rankings.

“For us to go on improving as a team we need to be playing against teams like this, so it is a good opportunity to test ourselves and hopefully get another win.”

Northern Ireland have been without several key players and manager Wylie said: “It’s going to be difficult with no fresh legs.

“We’ve got 10 players who’ve had to play in all three group games, which is not a situation I’d have chosen, but we’ve had injuries and a lack of senior players.

“The youngsters have stepped up to the plate though, and we’ll give it all we’ve got to try and end the tournament with a win.”
 

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