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New Zealand

Matildas defeat trans-tasman rivals New Zealand; Lisa De Vanna dismissed from Australia

Australia’s Kyah Simon working past New Zealand’s Katie Hoyle (4) and Betsy Hassett (12)

By Ann Odong

In front of a crowd of 2,866 parochial supporters, the Westfield Matildas have defeated their trans-tasman rivals New Zealand outfit 2-1 at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford. Goals to Catherine Cannuli and Collette McCallum were enough for the home side to see of the challenge of the New Zealanders despite Hannah Wilkinson’s first half equalizer. A midweek 3-0 victory, and a superior FIFA world ranking, saw the Matildas entered the match strong favorites and they started as such. Controlling possession, the Australian’s looked to exploit the visitor’s early. Just nine minutes in they had the breakthrough. (more…)

U.S. wins Algarve Cup, Canada claims Cyprus Cup title

The U.S. Women’s National Team won its eighth Algarve Cup title with a 4-2, come-from-behind win over Iceland, while the Canadian Women’s National Team knocked off Holland, 2-1 in overtime, to win its third Cyprus Cup in the last four years. Japan and France finished in third place at Algarve and Cyprus, respectively. (more…)

U.S. to face Iceland in Algarve Cup finals, Canada and Holland to play for Cyprus Cup title

The U.S. Women’s National Team had already sealed a place in the Algarve Cup finals, but it came down to the final day of group stage play to find out their opponent. Iceland, No. 17 in the FIFA World Rankings, defeated Denmark, 1-0, Monday afternoon in Portugal to advance to their first-ever Algarve Cup final. Iceland, which also beat China and Sweden in Group B, will play the U.S. Wednesday. Dóra María Lárusdóttir (Valur) scored Iceland’s goal. Meanwhile in Cyprus, Canada beat England, 2-0, Monday and coupled with Holland’s 6-0 win Monday over Switzerland, Canada and Holland will play Wednesday in the Cyprus Cup finals. (more…)

Another historic day at Algarve and Cyprus cups

In the second day of the Cyprus Cup, Scotland defeated England for the first time since 1977, scoring a 2-0 win on goals by Arsenal’s Kim Little and Jennifer Beattie. Keeper Shannon Lynn (Hibernian) earned the shutout for Scotland. Canadian keeper Stephanie Labbe (Pitea) picked up her fourth career shutout and remains unbeaten in six starts and Jonelle Filigno scored off an assist from Christine Sinclair (WNY Flash) to give Canada a 1-0 win over Italy. (more…)

Historic day at both Cyprus Cup and Algarve Cup

Kelly Smith won her 100th cap with England and scored in a 2-0 win over Italy at the Cyprus Cup, while Iceland beat Sweden for the first time ever, shocking the No. 4 FIFA ranked team in the world, 2-1, at the Algarve Cup in Portugal. In other action today at Algarve, the U.S. Women’s National Team beat Japan (2-1), Norway beat Finland (2-1), Denmark beat China (1-0), Portugal beat Wales (3-1), and Romania beat Chile (2-0). In Cyprus, Canada, France, South Korea, and the Netherlands won, while Russia and Mexico played to a scoreless draw. (more…)

Ali Riley ready for new challenge in WPS

Former FC Gold Pride and Stanford University teammates Ali Riley (right) and Kelley O’Hara are now WPS opponents.

When FC Gold Pride ceased operations less than two months after winning the 2010 Women’s Professional Soccer Championship, more than two dozen players were left without a place to play. Ali Riley was one of them. Even though her stock rose after winning the 2010 WPS Rookie of the Year, she was like everyone else on her former team – a free agent. But she found a home in the offseason, one she’s looking forward to in a big way. (more…)