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England 3-1 Canada

By Tony Leighton

England's Kelly Smith
Smith scored the goal that put England 2-1 up against Canada

England completed an excellent Cyprus Cup campaign with a well deserved 3-1 victory over Canada in the final at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia.

Having beaten South Africa and Scotland and drawn with France in the group stage, Hope Powell's team confirmed themselves as the tournament's outstanding team.

Against a Canadian side who had beaten them 4-0 in both of their previous two meetings, England had to show their mettle after going behind.

But after goals by Lianne Sanderson, Kelly Smith and Fara Williams had turned the game around by half-time, a controlled second-half performance ensured victory.


It brought England their first trophy in Powell's 11 years as national coach and she said: "To get to a final and then win it was great experience for the girls.

"It showed just how far we've come since we last played Canada. Yes, we had to come from behind, but we outplayed them at times and there were lots of pluses for us."

It had not looked so promising in the 14th minute, when Canadian striker Christine Sinclair took advantage of a defensive mix-up to lob the ball home from 18 yards.

But England quickly recovered and drew level when Chelsea striker Sanderson headed in left-back Casey Stoney's inch-perfect cross.

Powell's team then went ahead in the 40th minute, Boston Breakers striker Smith directing a low 20-yard shot just inside the post.

And in first-half stoppage time the lead was extended through a superbly struck 30-yard free-kick by captain Williams.

Even better performances will be required at the Euros

England coach Hope Powell

After the interval Everton midfielder Williams forced goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc into a couple of good saves from long-range efforts.

The Canadians made several substitutions and tactical switches as they looked to force their way back into the game, but England ran out comfortable winners.

As pleased as she was at the trophy triumph, Powell's main concern was the benefits it will bring in terms of her team's build-up to August's European Championship finals.

"Winning the tournament will help the team's confidence and belief," she added. "And that will be important at the Euro finals because we want to hit the ground running.

"But we're still developing as a team, so let's enjoy the moment and then get back to our preparation work because even better performances will be required at the Euros."

England (4-4-1-1): Brown (Everton); A. Scott (Boston Breakers), Asante (New York Sky Blue), Houghton (Leeds Carnegie), Stoney (Chelsea); Carney (Chicago Red Stars), J. Scott (Everton) (Chapman (Arsenal) 63), Williams (Everton) S. Smith (Leeds Carnegie); K. Smith (Boston Breakers); Sanderson (Chelsea) (Aluko (St Louis Athletica) 71).

Canada (4-4-2): LeBlanc; Timko, Zurrer, Franko (Andrews HT), Booth; Parker, Kyle (Walsh 60), Matheson, Stewart (Nault HT); Sinclair, Tancredi (Vermeulen 71).

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see also
England 3-0 Scotland
10 Mar 09 |  Women
England 2-2 France
07 Mar 09 |  Women
England 6-0 South Africa
06 Mar 09 |  Women

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