Germany beats Japan 3-0 to win Algarve Cup
A flurry of goals at the start the second half helped Germany to a 3-0 victory over world champion Japan in the final of the Algarve Cup at Faro, Portugal, on Wednesday.
The United States beat North Korea 3-0 for seventh place.
Substitute Nadine Kessler’s first touch was a goal from the edge of the penalty area in the 46th minute. Anja Mittag doubled the advantage for the European champions four minutes later by backheeling teammate Fatmire Alushi’s pass into the net.
Dzsenifer Marozsan completed the rout against a dazed Japan in the 61st minute with a shot from 20 yards as the German women secured their third title in the competition.
Iceland scored two first-half goals and hung on to beat Sweden 2-1 in the third-place game at the annual competition.
The U.S. women ended their first two-game losing streak in 13 years, beating North Korea at Parchal, Portugal, as Heather O’Reilly scored in her 200th international appearance.
O’Reilly became the seventh American to make 200 appearances, and Abby Wambach scored twice to increase her world record to 167 goals, including 21 at the Algarve Cup.
The U.S., which won the tournament nine times in 18 previous appearances, was coming off a rare three-game winless streak. The Americans tied Japan in their opener, then lost to Denmark and Sweden.
”I couldn’t be prouder, and although the tournament didn’t go exactly the way this team would have hoped, the really cool thing about being a part of this team is that it’s like a family,” O’Reilly said. ”There’s ups, there’s downs, there’s hard times, there’s amazing times, so I think it’s fitting that my 200th was in a game like this, in a game where we were able to overcome some adversity and come away with a proud result.”
Wambach scored on a diving header in the 11th minute off a cross from Ali Krieger, then doubled the lead in the 58th when she took a pass through a defender’s legs from Carli Lloyd and with the sole of her left boot swept the ball into the net.
”Games like these are good. It’s a gut check,” Wambach said. ”We can talk all day long about formations and systems and style of play, but at the end of the day, it’s about certain people showing up and playing collectively as a team and finishing your chances.”
O’Reilly entered at the start of the second half and scored her 40th career goal from the far post in the 88th minute following Lloyd’s cross.
”It was good to end the tournament with a win,” Lloyd said. ”Obviously, it’s been a difficult situation for all of us. I think teams are getting a little more sophisticated in how to break us down, in how to contain us, and we’ve got to find more sophisticated ways to break them down. They are not going to give us time and space in midfield or up top, so we’ve got to find other ways, and I think that’s what will elevate our game. You live and learn.”