Internationals - Becky up and running in qualifiers, disappointment for Ria at SheBelieves Cup
Thu 24 February 2022, 16:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Becky Spencer’s Jamaica made the perfect start to their Concacaf W Championship qualification campaign after taking maximum points in their opening two games.
Kicking-off their Group C qualifying matches last Thursday against Bermuda in Kingston, Becky played the full 90 minutes and kept a clean sheet as her country claimed a 4-0 win. She was then an unused substitute on Sunday as Jamaica ran out 6-1 winners over Grenada in St George’s. They currently sit second in their group, just behind the Dominican Republic on goal difference.
In the United States, Ria Percival, New Zealand’s all-time record appearance maker, added another three caps to her collection over the international break as the Football Ferns took part in the 2022 SheBelieves Cup. Now on 160 caps for her nation, Ria will have been delighted to extend her international record however, on the pitch, there was disappointment for the midfielder as her nation were unable to win any of their games in the tournament. Losing 1-0 to Iceland (Friday) and 5-0 to hosts the United States (Sunday) in their opening two games, they then drew 0-0 with the Czech Republic in their final match (Wednesday) as they finished bottom of the group. The midfielder started all three of their matches, starting each of the first two before being substituted at half-time in the final match.
In Europe, Rosella Ayane was on target for Morocco once more as they took silverware at the VisitMalta International tournament. Taking on hosts Malta on Saturday, they defeated the Island nation 1-0 with Rosella playing the full game. They then overcame Moldova 4-0 on Tuesday to claim the cup in Paola, with the striker assisting the first and scoring her nation’s second in the 35th minute as she once again completed the full 90 minutes.
There was disappointment for Shelina Zadorsky in the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup though as Canada finished third in the four-team tournament. In the new competition, hosted across England in the past week, Canada drew their opener 1-1 with overall winners England in Middlesbrough last Thursday (17 February) before they defeated Germany 1-0 in Norwich on Sunday – Shelina was an unused substitute in both games. The defender then made her first start of the tournament for her nation on Wednesday, but it was a frustrating afternoon in Wolverhampton as Canada fell to a 1-0 defeat against Spain, Shelina completing the full game.
There was also frustration for Tinja-Riikka Korpela and Eveliina Summanen across the Channel as Finland finished fourth at the Tournoi de France. In the four-team tournament, the Fins opened with a 5-0 defeat to hosts France last Wednesday (16 February) – Tinni captaining her nation and playing the full game while Eveliina played the first 77 minutes – before they fell 3-0 to the Netherlands in their second game – midfielder Eveliina again started before being substituted while goalkeeper Tinni was an unused substitute. In the final game – a 0-0 draw with Brazil on Tuesday – both players played the full game.
In Spain, recent signing Viktoria Schnaderbeck led Austria to back-to-back wins in the Marbella International Tournament. Returning to her national team for the first time since October, 2020, following injury, Viktoria played the first 45 minutes and captained her nation as they cantered to a 6-1 win over Romania. She then played the full 90 minutes and wore the captain’s armband once more as Austria defeated Switzerland 3-0.
Heading north up the Spanish coast to Murcia, Academy player Morgan Rogers was part of the Wales matchday squads as they reached the semi-finals of the Pinatar Cup. The Welsh progressed to the final four of the tournament with a 3-1 win over Scotland last Wednesday (16 February) but then lost 3-1 on penalties to Belgium after a 0-0 draw in normal time. They then lost out in the third place match with the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday as the Irish ran out 1-0 winners. Rogers was an unused substitute for the final two matches.
Finally, Jessica Naz and Asmita Ale were involved in the matchday squads for England Under-23s as they headed across the English Channel to take on France Under-23s in a friendly double header. The first meeting (Thursday 17 February) finished as a 3-2 defeat for the Young Lionesses with Asmita coming on as substitute in the 60th minute while Jess was an unused substitute. In the second meeting – a 1-1 draw on Sunday – Asmita was an unused substitute while Jess was not included in the squad.