Sweden lifted the Algarve Cup after a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory against the United States while Denmark pipped Germany to third place, Iceland lost to China, and Finland and Norway signed off with successes.
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Sweden confirmed their status as one of the favourites for UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ this summer as they defeated the United States in an epic penalty shoot-out to win the Algarve Cup for the first time since 2001. Denmark beat Germany by the same scoreline for third place, and in the other play-offs Iceland lost to China, Finland overcame Portugal on penalties, Norway defeated Austria and Poland edged out Wales. uefa.com rounds up the last-day action from Portugal.
United States 1–1 Sweden (3-4 pens, final)
Sweden won their third Algarve Cup after a dramatic final. The US had won the last two finals, and five of the most recent six, losing only to Germany in 2006 on penalties. And US coach Pia Sundhage saw that run end at the hands of the nation she represented with distinction as a player. On 19 minutes Lotta Schelin added to the two goals she managed in Monday's 3-2 defeat of Germany to take her 2009 tally to seven, rolling the ball in after a pass from Victoria Svensson, winning her 158th cap to set a new Swedish record. It seemed the trophy was Sweden's but in added time Shannon Boxx turned in Megan Rapinoe's ball at the far post to force a shoot-out. Both teams missed two of their first five penaltes, and also their initial sudden-death efforts, before Stina Segerström converted for Sweden and Heather Mitts shot over for an unhappy end to her 100th US appearance.
Germany 0-1 Denmark (third-place play-off)
Julie Rydahl Bukh struck the winner late in the first half for Denmark to complete a week in which she has returned to international football after a year's injury absence. In a cautious start from both teams, Nadine Angerer made the first save from a Katrine Pedersen free-kick and later stopped an effort from Denmark striker Merete Pedersen, while at the other end Tine Cederkvist denied Inka Grings. Rydahl Bukh broke the deadlock on 42 minutes after Cathrine Paaske Sørensen flicked on a quickly-taken free-kick, and after the break Denmark held out with ease despite Sonja Fuss going close at the death.
Iceland 1-2 China (fifth-place play-off)
China ensured there was no repeat of their 4-1 loss to Iceland two years ago, a result considered a watershed by coach Siggi Eyjólfsson in view of their subsequent run to qualify for UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™. Lou Jiahui gave China the lead and although Harpa Thorsteinsdóttir opened her international account to equalise in the 45th minute, Yu Yuan won the game after the break.
Portugal 1-1 Finland (2-4 pens, seventh-place play-off)
UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ hosts Finland ended their losing run in the competition against the nation staging this event, who won all their matches in the second-tier Group C. Susanna Lehtinen put Finland in front on 13 minutes when an Annice Sjölund effort was parried by Neide Simões but Carla Couto's free-kick with 20 minutes left forced penalties. Minna Meriluoto saved Portugal's first spot-kick from Kimberly Brandão while Couto was to hit the bar, as Anna-Kaisa Rantanen, Essi Sainio, Maija Saari and Miia Niemi converted for Finland.
Norway 2-0 Austria (ninth-place play-off)
Norway, who like Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Iceland and Finland will compete at UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ from 23 August until 10 September, secured their first win of the year at the fifth attempt. Trine Rønning and Solveig Gulbrandsen scored late in each half, but despite the loss Austria coach Ernst Weber, whose side were second in Group C, said: "We put on a sensational performance, especially in defence. One must not forget that Norway are ranked third in Europe. I had never expected the team to do so well in their fourth match [this week]."
Wales 1-2 Poland (eleventh-place play-off)
On Monday, Wales beat Poland 5-1 for Group C third place but fortunes were reversed today. Anna Sznyrowska put Poland into an early lead and although Jessica Fishlock soon equalised, Patrycja Pożerska clinched victory with two minutes left as her cross from the left crept in. Wales, Poland and the other European sides will now switch their attention to the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying draw on Tuesday, though Germany are already in the finals as hosts.