Sky Blue FC will be represented in the final game of the Algarve Cup. Kailen Sheridan and the Canadian women’s national team, as well as Sam Kerr and the Australian women’s national team, earned enough points to move on and play in the top two placement rounds of the tournament.
Australia took the field first today and was hoping to continue their winning ways after defeating the Netherlands 3-2 this weekend. Sam Kerr once again was in the starting lineup for the Matildas as they took on China in today’s matchup and is one of only three players who started every group stage match in this year’s tournament.
Kerr’s speed and offensive power were on display again, but she continued to stay off of the score sheet. The first half consisted of Kerr continuously sending in crosses that were unable to find her teammates feet and shots on goal that were stopped by China’s goalkeeper.
Even with Australia in China’s half for the majority of the first 45 minutes, China was the one who got the first goal of the game. Wang Shanshan fired a shot that went passed Australia’s diving keeper, Mackenzie Arnold. The teams would go into the half with China up 1-0.
The second half would be all Australia, showing off the team’s fast-paced tempo. The 61st minute saw Australia’s Emily Van Egmond place a cross at the edge of the six yard box that was met by the head of Emily Gielnik and into the goal. The game looked as if it would end in a tie until a late goal coming in the 84th minute gave the Matilda’s a 2-1 lead. Australia would be able to hold onto the lead and win the game.
Canada was also hoping to notch some points in their game against Portugal today to ensure they would play for first place. Despite an impressive game against Russia on Tuesday, Kailen Sheridan was left out of the lineup for Canada as John Herdman continued rotating each of his three goalkeepers into the starting XI.
The back and forth match between Portugal and Canada saw plenty of scoring opportunities, however neither team could score and the game ended in a scoreless draw. Even with the tie, Canada was able to earn enough points to head to the Algarve Cup Final where they will take on Spain on Wednesday, March 8 with a game time to be announced later.
Australia’s 2-1 record would be enough to compete for 3rd place in the Algarve Cup. The Matildas will square off against Denmark on March 8 with a game time to be announced later.
The Algarve Cup is unavailble to watch in the USA, but if fans would like to follow along and see where Sheridan and Kerr’s team place in the tournament stay up to date on Twitter by following @CanadaSoccerEN and @TheMatildas.