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Saturday, 2 March, 2002, 11:52 GMT
Wales stun Portugal
Wales coach Sian Williams
Sian Williams masterminded Wales win over Portugal
By BBC Sport Online's Tony Leighton

Wales pulled off the shock of the Algarve Cup's opening day by beating hosts Portugal 1-0.

Barry Town striker Ayshea Martyn scored in the ninth minute to seal victory for the Welsh.

But both England and Scotland lost their first games at the 12-nation tournament.

  Opening day results
Portugal 0-1 Wales
Scotland 0-3 Canada
England 1-3 Norway
England, who made 10 changes from last Sunday's 3-0 World Cup qualifying win against Portugal, lost 3-1 to Olympic champions Norway.

Scotland went down 3-0 to Canada.

But Wales manager Sian Williams had obviously done her homework after watching the Portuguese lose to England five days ago.

It was nevertheless a surprise for a Category B nation, as Wales are, to beat a top level team.

Williams, who captains Arsenal in the Women's Premier League, said: "I'm ecstatic with this result against a Category A side.

"After seeing their weaknesses at the back against England I decided to go 4-3-3 and try to pressure them, particularly from set-pieces, and that's how our goal came.

"In the second half we came under pressure ourselves and at times it was panic stations.

England coach Hope Powell
Powell was pleased with England's perfomance
"But the girls did really well and the result will be a big boost to their confidence."

England coach Hope Powell was as upbeat as Williams - once a midfielder in Powell's national side - despite seeing her experimental line-up beaten by the Olympic champions.

Arsenal's Angela Banks, who captained the side for the first time, cancelled out an early goal by Dagny Mellgren.

But England then gifted their opponents goals scored by Solveig Gulbrandsen and, from a 79th minute penalty, captain Hege Riise.

Powell said: "I was very pleased with the performance from an inexperienced team.

"Five players were making their first senior starts for England and another one, Mary Phillip, was back in the team for the first time in more than four years.

"Considering all that, I thought they gelled together pretty well and it was great experience for the younger players in particular."

England face a difficult a game on Sunday as well, when they face World Cup holders America - who opened the tournament with a 1-1 draw against Sweden.

Wales will take on Canada, whose striker Andrea Neil notched a first half hat-trick against Scotland, while the Scots are set to meet Portugal.


We've made a big step and hopefully we can go further in our next match
Scotland coach Vera Pauw
Scotland, who apart from Wales are the only Category B team at the annual event, go on to play host nation Portugal.

After watching her side beaten by the Canadians, Scotland coach Vera Pauw said: "I was proud of my team for the way they came back after conceding three early goals.

"We were shocked by this level of football and the physical strength of the Canadians, but we adjusted well.

"We've made a big step and hopefully we can go further in our next match."

See also:

27 Feb 02 |  Football
Home nations face tough task
26 Sep 01 |  Football
Hope springs eternal for England
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