Canada to finish Cyprus Cup group stage against South Africa

Canada’s women’s national team will complete Group 2 play at the 2010 Cyprus Women’s Cup when it faces South Africa this Monday 1 March. Canada comes into the match having already qualified for tournament’s 3 March final by virtue of winning its first two group matches over England and Switzerland. The Canada-South Africa match will kick off at 14.00 local (07.00 ET / 04.00 PT) from the Ammochostos Stadium Stadium in Larnaka.



Canadian fans can follow the match via www.twitter.com/CanadaSoccerEN. Fans can also join the conversation by using the women’s national team hashtag, #canWNT. Fans should visit www.CanadaSoccer.com for more information on this match including statistics and fixture report.


Canada’s women’s national team will complete Group 2 play at the 2010 Cyprus Women’s Cup when it faces South Africa this Monday 1 March. Canada comes into the match having already qualified for tournament’s 3 March final by virtue of winning its first two group matches over England and Switzerland. The Canada-South Africa match will kick off at 14.00 local (07.00 ET / 04.00 PT) from the Ammochostos Stadium Stadium in Larnaka.



Canadian fans can follow the match via www.twitter.com/CanadaSoccerEN. Fans can also join the conversation by using the women’s national team hashtag, #canWNT. Fans should visit www.CanadaSoccer.com for more information on this match including statistics and fixture report.



Having already qualified for the final, Canadian head coach Carolina Morace has hinted that she will use the South Africa match to rest some of her regular starters. “This match presents a great opportunity for the younger players to show their quality,” said Carolina Morace. “We have enjoyed our result yesterday (against England), but we must now refocus and continue to improve with each match.”



Canada is in the middle of a six-day span in which they will play three matches, testing the depth of the Canadian squad. The team has already lost defenders Brittany Timko and Sasha Andrews to injury for the remainder of the tournament while Robyn Gayle has yet to recover from the hamstring strain that she picked up in the season-opening win over Poland.



Canada qualified for the final of the 2010 Cyprus Women’s Cup following wins in its first two group matches against Switzerland and England. In the match with Switzerland, Canada came back after going behind, to win 2:1 on goals from Christine Sinclair and Christina Julien. Against England, a rematch of the 2009 Cyprus Women’s Cup final, Julien scored her second consecutive goal early in the first half. Canada defended strong for the rest of the match. Canada has now reached the final three consecutive times.



In Group 2, Canada has six points (three goals scored, one goal conceded), Switzerland has three points (4-3), England has three points (1-1), and South Africa has no points (1-4). Should two teams be tied on six points, the ‘one best placed shall be the one with more points obtained in matches played against each other.’ Canada has already beaten both Switzerland and England, the only teams that can catch Canada on six points.



The Banyana, as the South African women’s national team is known, currently ranked 55th in the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking have shown that they are competitive as this level. In its opening match at the Cyprus Women’s Cup, South Africa came close to a strong England side before ultimately falling to an 0:1 loss. South Africa’s second match, played in extremely wet and soggy conditions, resulting in a 1:3 loss to Switzerland. The Banyana were forced to play much of that match with 10 players following the dismissal of its goalkeeper in the 30th minute.



The Canada-South Africa match will mark the first time the two nations have met at the Women’s International level.



The Canadian team trained in its hotel gym on Sunday as the unpredictable Cyprus weather again took a turn for the worse. An overnight thunder storm lit up the Cyprus sky and caused minor flooding to many of the facilities. The weather is forecast to improve in time for Monday’s Canada-South Africa match and hold for the remainder of the competition. The players and staff have been closely following Canada’s strong finish at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games and have thus arranged for a viewing of tonight’s gold-medal final in men’s ice hockey.



Canada’s women’s national team opened its 2010 season with a 3:0 victory over Poland on 20 February in an international friendly match prior to the start of the Cyprus Women’s Cup.



Canada, whose title sponsor is Winners and whose presenting sponsor is Teck, will learn its opponent in the 2010 Cyprus Women’s Cup final following the completion of Group 1 matches on Monday. After two matches, Netherlands leads the group followed by New Zealand, Italy, and Scotland. On 1 March, New Zealand plays Scotland and Italy plays Netherlands.


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