Denmark defeated Australia 2-1 to end the Peace Queen Cup group stage unbeaten - but were pipped to the final on goal difference by the United States in the Korea Republic following the Americans' 2-0 victory against the Netherlands.
Dutch lose to US
Having drawn with the US and defeated the Netherlands 1-0, Denmark trailed America by one goal before the concluding Group B Games. The Netherlands, hoping for a first point, took on the US in the first match of the day and fell behind on 27 minutes to Lindsay Tarpley. The US had Kristine Lilly sent off with ten minutes left but a solo effort from Cat Whitehill just before time left Denmark needing a three-goal winning margin to reach the final against Canada.
Win in vain
One of several Danish debutants in the tournament, Maja Juliussen, gave them a 14th-minute lead but they could not extend the advantage and in the 69th minute Caitlin Munioz equalised. Johanna Rasmussen headed in Line Hansen's cross with seven minutes left but Denmark, without Brøndby IF players due to their UEFA Women's Cup semi-final against Arsenal LFC, were out, though having picked up some useful results in their build-up to next September's FIFA Women's World Cup.
"We came out here with a team that have not had the opportunity of training much together, but still I think we managed to make things hang together very well, and with this background I think we can be content" said Denmark coach Kenneth Heiner-Møller, who was particularly happy with the performance against the US. "We had a great game and showed a lot of will, although the US might have been the better team, and we managed to block their attacks almost completely in the second half."
Italy defeat hosts
The third European contender, Italy, ended their Group A fixtures with a 2-1 defeat of the Korean hosts. Italy had already bounced back from losing their opener to Canada by holding Brazil, and went ahead against the Korea Republic before half-time when defender Hong Kyung-Suk heading Eva Valeri's cross into her own net. Park Eun-Jung equalised in the 48th minute with a curling free kick but Italy captain Patrizia Panico's clever lob from nearly halfway ensured victory. The Azzurre finish second ahead of Brazil on goal difference after their 4-2 loss to Canada, and Italy and the Netherlands and now looking ahead to the UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ qualifying group stage draw on 13 December in Nyon.
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