|Estadio Algarve/Algarve Stadium, Portugal.|
The next big test for Women's soccer teams was the Algarve Cup, that took place between February 29, 2012 - March 7, 2012 - the 19th edition of the invitational held in Portugal.
Begun in 1994, this annual global invitational is one of the top women's soccer tournaments, and is held at Algarve Stadium in the Algarve region of Faro, Portugal - hence it's name. It's probably the third most-important woman's soccer event after the World Cup and the Olympics.
Twelve teams are invited, with the top eight competing for the championship. The teams are divided into three groups of four — A, B and C.
Group C was added in 2002 to provide second-tier teams with high-level match experience every year.
The teams first play a round-robin within each pool, with the placement round AND UPDATED RESULTS as follows:
- 11th place: Bottom teams in Group C play one game.
- 9th place: The Group C runner-up plays one game against the lower-ranked of the fourth-place teams from Groups A and B.
- 7th place: The Group C winner plays one game against the higher-ranked of the fourth-place teams from Groups A and B.
- 5th place: The third-place teams from Groups A and B play one game.
- 3rd place: The second-place teams from Groups A and B play one game.
- 1st place: The first-place teams from Groups A and B play one game.
February 29, 2012:
Germany 1 Vs Iceland 0
Sweden 1 Vs China 0
US 5 Vs Denmark 0
Japan 1 Vs Norway 1
Wales 1 Vs Portugal 0
Hungary 1 Vs Rep. of Ireland 0
March 2, 2012:
Germany 1 Vs China 0
Iceland 1 Vs Sweden 4
Denmark 0 Vs Japan 2
Norway 1 Vs US 2
Wales 0 Vs Rep. of Ireland 0
Portugal 4 Vs Hungary 0
March 5, 2012:
Germany 4 Vs Sweden 0
China 0 Vs Iceland 1
Norway 0 Vs Denmark 1
US 0 Vs Japan 1
Hungary 1 Vs Wales 2
Rep. of Ireland 1 Vs Portugal 2
Previous winners are:
USA with eight titles: 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2000
Norway with four: 1998, 1997, 1996, 1994
|USA wins 2011Algarve Cup.|
China twice: 2002, 1999
Germany twice: 2012
In 2011, Japan captured third-place in the tournament, their first ever time in the tourney. Of course, Japan later defeated the U.S to capture the FIFA Women's World Cup later that summer.
In 2012, Japan fell to the German squad 4-3 in the Finals, as Germany captured its second Algarve Cup! Way to go! Also, a great showing by the U.S. and Japanese squads!
Oh... Sawa Homare (澤 穂希 Sawa Homare, born September 6, 1978 in Fuchū, Tokyo), the captain of the Japanese women's team was named the 2011 Algarve Cup's Best Player. The midfielder currently plays for INAC Kobe Leonessa in the Nadeshiko League Division 1.
Japan - It's A Wonderful Rife did write about a few of the games, found: HERE and HERE
Files compiled by Andrew Joseph