England

3-1

Canada

Sanderson 32, K Smith 40, Williams 45+1

 


Sinclair 14

Cyprus Cup
International Friendly Tournament
The Final
Thursday 12 March 2009
Larnaca, Cyprus

Report FA

After England lifted the Cyprus Cup skipper Fara Williams said that the confidence from this victory would provide a major boost as the Three Lions prepare for the European Championship in August.


After England lifted the Cyprus Cup skipper Fara Williams said that the confidence from this victory would provide a major boost as the Three Lions prepare for the European Championship in August.


Williams captained Hope Powell's side to a 3-1 victory over Canada in the final on Thursday and the Everton midfielder believes that the taste of victory will only leave the England players wanting more.

Williams told TheFA.com: "It's fantastic, everyone is buzzing after winning the final and it's a great feeling to be part of it.

"Canada are a strong team, if you look back on the previous two meetings they beat us by four goals on both occasions, so this is real progress."

Williams was one of ten different scorers as England ran in 14 goals in just four games, and she admits that she has been practising free-kicks after another rocket of a set-piece in first-half injury time made it an uphill task for the Canadians.

"I suppose it was important to go into the break with a two-goal lead as opposed to being just one ahead," Williams explained. "Scoring that close to the interval gave us a lot of confidence and we really had the belief that we wouldn't get beaten.

"I've been practising my free-kicks, I got one recently for Everton that was pretty similar but it's always pleasing when they come off in matches.

"Winning is always a great way to build momentum and this experience will be very important for all the players who were part of it. We set the target of winning and having achieved that we have to move on and set new goals leading up to the Euros in August. It's an exciting time."

After Canada took an early lead against the run of play it was Lianne Sanderson who levelled the scores with a fine header and the Chelsea forward believes that it shows the character in the squad that they responded as they did.

Sanderson told TheFA.com: "It's great to have won, it was a tough game and a hard week with four games in seven days but it was worth it.

"We were all over them to begin with but they scored and gained a lot of confidence from that. It was difficult because they took heart from scoring but we showed great character to fight back.

"Scoring the equaliser was an important moment, we stuck to our gameplan and kept plugging away at what we had been doing before and that paid off.

"When we got level Kelly scored a great solo goal and then Fara put us a little bit further in front going into half-time."

Sanderson insisted that winning a tournament is a mark of the progress England have made, but that the focus remains on Finland in August.

"A final is a final and whether it's a friendly tournament or a World Cup you want to win, and you have to be at your best throughout," Sanderson admitted.

"These kind of competitions are hugely important to our progress and hopefully it sends a little message that we need to be taken seriously. We're improving all the time and we'll take a lot of confidence as we continue to prepare for the European Championship."

England
1 Rachel Brown, 2 Alex Scott, 3 Casey Stoney, 4 Fara Williams (C), 5 Anita Asante, 6 Steph Houghton, 7 Karen Carney, 8 Jill Scott, 9 Lianne Sanderson (16 Eniola Aluko, 71), 10 Kelly Smith, 11 Sue Smith

Canada
1 Karina LeBlanc, 17 Brittany Timko, 2 Emily Zurrer,10 Martina Franko (23 Sasha Andrews, 46), 3 Melanie Booth, 19 Kelly Parker, 6 Kaylyn Kyle, 8 Diana Matheson, 5 Chelsea Stewart (16 Marie Eve Nault, 46), 12 Christine Sinclair, 14 Melissa Tancredi