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Strong field set for 2014 Cyprus Cup

Canada lost the 2013 Cyrpus Cup final 1-0 to England. (Photo courtesy of Canada Soccer)

The groups for women’s soccer’s annual late winter world gatherings are set, with a Cyprus Cup field that looks stronger than ever in place.

Cyprus’ teams haven’t changed much for the tournament, but the quality of several of the sides has increased. Australia are the newcomers and add an extra top world team in Cyprus, while the recent improvements of New Zealand (which won the Valais Cup and tied the U.S.) and a good quarterfinal showing from Italy.

Group A in Cyprus looks strong, with England, Italy, Finland and Canada, while Group B is nothing to overlook as it features The Netherlands, France, Scotland and Australia. New Zealand are likely the favorites in Group C, where the Football Ferns are joined by South Korea, Switzerland and the Republic of Ireland.

England won the 2013 edition, beating Canada 1-0 in the final.

Matches will be played March 5, 7 and 10, with placement games on March 12, just like the Algarve Cup. The Algarve Cup groups — including the U.S., Japan, Sweden and Denmark in a tough Group B — can be found here.

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