Germany and England look in fine fettle four months from UEFA Women's EURO 2013 after reaching the finals of major warm-up tournaments involving nine of the sides competing in Sweden this July.
Defending the Algarve Cup in southern Portugal, Germany won their group decider 2-0 against Norway and will face the United States for the title on Wednesday. Meanwhile, England will be challenging Canada for the Cyprus Women's Cup following a 3-1 comeback defeat of New Zealand in Nicosia.
In their Algarve Cup Group A opener, Germany were shut out 0-0 by Denmark, while Norway continued their promising start under returning coach Even Pellerud, overcoming world champions Japan 2-0 courtesy of teenagers Caroline Graham Hansen and Ada Hegerberg. Two days later Germany, who beat Japan in last year's final, triumphed 2-1 thanks to Dzsenifer Marozsán's winner, while Denmark's game with Norway ended goalless.
That meant, the winner of Monday's encounter between Germany and Norway would top the group. Germany needed to win, and second-half goals from Célia Okoyino da Mbabi and Nadine Kessler ensured they did so against a side they meet on 17 July in their final UEFA Women's EURO 2013 Group B game in Kalmar. Elsewhere, Japan overcame Denmark 2-0 to finish in third place.
The US await Germany after topping Group B, having defeated Iceland 3-0 and China 5-0 before today's game with Sweden. Pia Sundhage's side were held 1-1 by China in their opener but subsequently strolled to a 6-1 success against Iceland, Kosovare Asllani scoring twice.
Lisa Dahlqvist's outrageous long-range effort gave Sweden an early lead against the US yet Alex Morgan denied her former national coach Sundhage a place in the final, and they now face a derby with Norway for third place. As for Iceland, they fell 1-0 to China.
Meanwhile, in Cyprus, England started Group A by overcoming another side preparing for this summer's showpiece, Italy, 4-2 – five of the goals coming in the first 33 minutes. They then drew 4-4 with Scotland, while New Zealand went top, beating Italy 2-0 for their second victory. The Football Ferns were on course for the final when a goal up against England early on, but in the last 20 minutes Ellen White, Eniola Aluko and Toni Duggan turned the game. Lastly, Scotland consigned Italy to a 2-1 defeat.
Canada had reached all five previous Cyprus finals – losing to England in 2009 and France last year, but winning the rest. And they made the decider again, following up an opening 2-0 defeat of Switzerland by overcoming Finland 2-1 and the Netherlands 1-0. That pair had drawn 1-1 in the opening game and the Netherlands prevailed by the same scoreline against Switzerland, who then came from behind to beat Finland 3-2.
All teams are involved in placement matches on Wednesday in both competitions: details of fixtures are in our full list of warm-up friendlies for the UEFA Women’s EURO 2013 finalists.
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