Canada wins its first Algarve Cup

Canada’s national women’s football team has won the Algarve Cup for the very first time.

The surprise came on March 9 with a 2-1 win over Brazil in the final held at Estádio Bela Vista in Parchal, Lagoa.

Canada has thus become the second North American team to win the competition. USA won last year and holds the most Algarve Cup titles (10).

This year, however, was all about their ‘neighbours’. Though the Canadians started the tournament with a 1-0 loss against Denmark, the team led by John Herdman picked itself up and clinched two wins against Belgium and Iceland to qualify for the final.

In the decisive match, Canada took on Brazil and came out on top, with Zadorsky and Janine Beckie scoring two second-half goals while the best Brazil could do was net a consolation goal in stoppage time.

Elswhere, Portugal continued its poor run and finished in last place (8th).

Despite its aspirations, the home team was unable to win a single game, losing to Russia (0-1), Brazil (1-3), New Zealand (0-1) and Denmark (1-3).

The best Portugal has ever done is finish 5th in the Algarve Cup, when it began in 1994.

The final standings this year are:
1. Canada
2. Brazil
3. Iceland
4. New Zealand
5. Belgium
6. Russia
7. Denmark
8. Portugal

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Photo: Miraildes Mota (left) of Brazil in action against Sophie Schmidt of Canada during the Algarve Cup 2016 final at Bela Vista Municipal Stadium in Parchal on March 9