Algarve Cup: A glut of comebacks as the 25th edition kicks off

Australia snatch win over Norway in Algarve Cup opener
Australia snatch win over Norway in Algarve Cup opener

The second FIFA Women’s International break of 2018 kicked off in earnest on Wednesday 28 February with three of the four tournaments set for this break commencing.

It was a glut of comebacks in Portugal as the 25th edition of Algarve Cup kicked off with Australia, Portugal and Korea Republic mounting thrilling comebacks.

The hosts got the ball rolling with a 2–1 win over China with Carole Costa netting the winner five minutes to time.

Xu Yanlu gave China the lead in the 57th minute but Carolina Mendes equalised three minutes later before Costa sealed the win.

Korea Republic followed suit, coming from behind to thrash Russia 3–1 in the second tie of the day.

Anna Belomyttseva opened the scoring for Russia at the quarter hour mark but Lee Mi-Na equalised at the stroke of half-time.

Han Chae-Rin and Jung Seol-bin buried the match after the breather to send Korea Republic top of Group B.

Last-gasp winner

Australia also recovered from a shaky start to snatch a 4–3 win over Norway in the most electrifying match of the opening day.

Larissa Crummer nodded home the match winner in injury time in a match that saw reigining Asian Player of the Year Sam Kerr score in a record seventh consecutive Matildas match.

Meanwhile, coach Kenneth Heiner-Møller’s reign at the helm of Canada started in a 3–1 defeat to Sweden.

Janine Beckie cancelled out Mimmi Larsson’s opener for Sweden but goals by Fridolina Rolfö and Stina Blackstenius fired Sweden to victory.

Elsewhere, reigning European champions Netherlands strolled to a 6–2 win over reigning Asian champions Japan.

UEFA/world player of the year Lieke Martens picked a brace in the win to fire Netherlands to the top of Group A.

Elsewhere, Euro 2017 finalists Denmark played to a scoreless draw against Iceland to register the single stalemate of the day.

Cyprus Cup and Turkish Women’s Cup kicked off on Wednesday as well while SheBelieves Cup will commence on Thursday 1 March.

Algarve, Cyprus and Turkish cups continue on Friday 2 March.

Algarve Cup 2018 Day 1 Roundup

Group A
Portugal 2–1 China
Australia 4–3 Norway

Group B
Korea Republic 3–1 Russia
Canada 1–3 Sweden

Group C
Japan 2–6 Netherlands
Denmark 0–0 Iceland

Standings (Day 1)

Group A
1) Australia: 3pts; (2) Portugal: 3pts; (3) China: 0pt; (4) Norway: 0pt

Group B
1) Korea Rep.: 3pts; (2) Sweden: 3pts; (3) Canada: 0pt; (4) Russia: 0pt

Group C
1) Netherlands: 3pts; (2) Denmark: 1pt; (3) Iceland: 1pt; (4) Japan: 0pt

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