This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Canada is headed for its fifth-straight Cyprus Women’s Cup final after beating Netherlands 1-0 at the Ammochostos Stadium in Larnaka in their final group stage game of the tournament. Emily Zurrer was the hero for the second-straight year against Netherlands in Cyprus: this time, she scored in the 84th minute to break the deadlock in a game where both sides easily could have picked up the victory.
Zurrer also scored the decisive goal when these same two sides met in the 2011 Cyprus Women’s Cup final. Canada won 2-1 after extra time on that day.
Zurrer’s goal in this year’s edition of the tournament came after she timed her jump perfectly to a meet a free kick delivered from the left side by Sophie Schmidt. Zurrer’s header was unstoppable, going in on the right side.
After a quiet first half that was largely played in the midfield with few offensive chances created, Canada came out in the second half and started carving out some opportunities with good crosses.
On one of the few chances created by Netherlands, Zurrer, who was making her 2012 debut, made a last-ditch tackle to deny Dutch striker Manon Melis in the 69th minute.
Erin McLeod didn’t have much work to do all game, but was sharp when called upon. On only the second Dutch shot on goal, coming in the 70th minute, McLeod got down well to her right to deny Sherida Spitse’s 18-yard attempt.
Just a few moments later, Canada responded with a chance of its own. After a skillful control of the ball in the air by Schmidt, the midfielder played in Christine Sinclair who crossed to Melissa Tancredi but her close-range effort was stopped.
Canada’s starting XI featured Erin McLeod in goal, Rhian Wilkinson at right back, Candace Chapman and Emily Zurrer at centre back and Lauren Sesselmann at left back with Kelly Parker, Desiree Scott, Brittany Timko, Christine Sinclair, Chelsea Buckland and Melissa Tancredi from the midfield up to the attack.
In the second half, Canadian head coach John Herdman replaced Timko with Sophie Schmidt (53’), Buckland with Christina Julien (53’), Parker with Kaylyn Kyle (62’), and Sesselmann with Chelsea Stewart (73’).
Netherlands’ starting XI featured Sari van Veenendaal in goal, Kika Van Es at right back, Anouk Hoogendijk and Mandy Van den Berg at centre back and Petra Hogewoning at left back with Kirsten Van de Ven, Maayke Heuver, Desiree van Lunteren, Sherida Spitse, Lieke Martens and Manon Melis from the midfield up to the attack.
Dutch coach Ed Engelles replaced Hogewoning with Claudia Van den Heiligenberg (55’), Van Es with Dyanne Bito (68′), and Van Den Berg with Marlous Pieete.
Big Red now moves on to the Cyprus Women’s Cup final where the team will take on France on Tuesday 6 March (17.30 local / 10.30 ET / 07.30 PT) at the GSZ Stadium in Larnaka, Cyprus.