Sweden, who thrashed Switzerland with a hat-trick by Mimmi Larsson and the Netherlands, defeated by Spain, now have a different side to defend the title in the 26th edition of the Algarve Cup women’s football.
Four-time winners Sweden had a blistering start with a win over Switzerland at the Estádio Algarve and took the top spot in Group D, who is also part of the Portuguese side, who are opponents of the Nordics on Friday.
Mimmi Larsson, with three goals, at 07, 34 and 66 minutes, was the featured player in the match. Ana Maria Crnogorcevic evened the score at 26, and Kosovare Asllani scored the 62nd goal in Sweden.
At the Estádio Municipal da Bela Vista, in the municipality of Lagoa, in Group B, Spain defeated European champions Holland, thanks to an ‘encore’ by Jennifer Hermoso, with a goal in each section, at 20 and 63 minutes.
The Spanish team, who won the title in 2017 and did not defend the title last year, took the lead and will face Poland on Matchday 2 on Friday.
Sweden and the Netherlands ‘shared’ the title in 2018, at the edition of the silver cups of the Algarve Cup, after the final of the tournament organized by the Portuguese Football Federation was cancelled due to poor weather conditions.
Still, on the opening day of the 26th edition of the competition, Norway underwent a reversal, already consumed at the rebates, to defeat Denmark 2-1, placing them at the top of Group C, which also includes China.
At the Estádio Algarve, Nadia Nadim put the Danes ahead in the 17th minute, a result that lasted until 77, when Therese Asland equalized, finishing Lisa-Marie Utland for the Norwegian victory near the final whistle.
The opening day of the Algarve Cup also had a goalless draw between Canada and Iceland at the Estádio da Belavista, both adding a point in Group A, in which Scotland is making their debut against the Canadians on Friday.
The Algarve Cup ends on March 6, with the final – played by the top two first-placed – and the remaining five qualifying matches.