Mon, Mar 5, 12:37pm by Staff Writer
The Algarve Cup hosted by the Portuguese Football Federation has been an annual tradition in women’s football since 1994.
The United States, Norway and Germany have dominated the competition since its inception, but the emergence of China and the Australian Matilda’s has made this year’s Cup one of the most enthralling in recent memory.
The Matildas enter the competition with the highest ranking of any team at four, ahead of fifth ranked Canada.
Notably China and the United States are not part of this year’s Algarve Cup.
The competition features three groups of four teams, with Australia grouped alongside hosts Portugal, Norway and China.
A pulsating 4-3 with in the opening match for the Matilda’s was thanks to a 95th minute goal by Larissa Crummer, just reward for an exceptional Matildas performance on the day.
A 0-0 draw followed in the Matildas second match against Portugal, with a game against China to follow on Tuesday morning at 6am AEDST.
Australia are $1.22 favourites to defeat China, who they recently had no trouble brushing aside in two internationals in Australia.
A win would move Australia to the top of the group, with hosts Portugal massive $14 underdogs to defeat Norway, who must win to move through to the next stage of the competition.
Group B features South Korea, Sweden, Canada and Russia, with only the Russian’s yet to register a victory through two matches.
Sweden appear favourites to progress, with a match against Russia on Tuesday morning, where they are overwhelming $1.12 favourites at Sportsbet.
South Korea and Canada will be battling it out of second position in the group if the odds makers forecasts are correct, with South Korea $6.50 underdogs to beat the 5th ranked Canadians, priced at $1.40 at Sportsbet.
In Group C, the Netherlands are the only team in the competition with two wins from two starts and they have the luxury of knowing that regardless of their result against Iceland, they will progress in the competition.
A 6-2 win against Japan was followed by a fortunate 94th minute own goal to snatch victory in their 3-2 win against Denmark.
Japan will be hoping for a win or draw to seal their passage into the next stage, although a Denmark win would see them leapfrog the Japanese into second position.
That clash is the most intriguing of Tuesday’s fixtures, with the Japanese $1.57 favourites at Sportsbet. Denmark are $4.50 outsiders.
Algarve Cup match 3 odds
South Korea $6.50 Canada $1.40 Draw $3.75
Sweden $1.12 Russia $18 Draw $6.50
Iceland $6.50 Netherlands $1.33 Draw $4.50
Japan $1.57 Denmark $4.50 Draw $3.75
Portugal $14 Norway $1.14 Draw $6
Australia $1.22 China $9.50 Draw $5.50
*Odds at Sportsbet
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