After making the final for the second time in as many tries, defending Champion Canada wasn’t able to convert on numerous chances and fell 0-1 to Spain in the Championship match of the Algarve Cup.
“Spain pressed well in the first half and disrupted our rhythm, but our goal in the first half was to catch them on the counterattack and exploit that high line and we had some good chances,” said Head Coach John Herdman. “In the second half, we found our rhythm and established better control in the game, had a couple of good chances that should have gone in, and I have to think some of those players will be a bit disappointed with the opportunities lost.”
Canada clocked four crosses and shots on net in the first half, followed by 11 in the second, outshooting Spain by nine shots on net.
“I think Canada should have won the game on the chances that we had, but we haven’t been as clinical as we should be in this tournament,” said Herdman. “I can’t really fault our team on this one. Our girls gave one hell of an effort in the second half trying to pull it back, it’s just that some games are like that. You can throw everything at it, but it won’t go in. We’ll take away some learnings from these last two games, but at the same time it was a strong performance from Canada, and next year we’ll be back.”
Placing second, Canada leaves the Algarve Cup 2017 with a 2-1-1 record against four European teams preparing to compete in the UEFA Women’s Euro tournament later this year.
“The Algarve Cup is always a great tournament – one of the best in the world,” said Herdman at the closing press conference. “It brings in a variety of teams, from Asia, Europe and the Americas, which gives it that little bit extra quality. You get to play against different styles of play, and Spain was a good style for us to match up against tonight. They were a really good opponent. They’ve shown their quality throughout the tournament, and are peaking to be ready for the Euros, so they look a good prospect for that tournament.”
The 2017 XXIV Algarve Women’s Cup featured 12 nations broken out into three groups. Canada faced Denmark, Portugal and Russia in Group 1. Group 2 consisted of Iceland, Japan, Norway and Spain; while Group 3 consisted of Australia, China PR, Netherlands and Sweden.
Canada next plays in Sweden on 6 April and in Germany 8 April, before coming home for a two game series against Costa Rica on 8 June in Winnipeg and 11 June in Toronto. Tickets are now on sale for both home matches.