Cyprus Cup 2014: England reach final but Scotland win not enough

By Tony LeightonWomen's football reporter
England beat Canada to set up France final

Lianne Sanderson celebrated her recent England return with a double as Mark Sampson's team reached the Cyprus Cup final with a 2-0 win against Canada.

Back in the side almost four years after quitting through differences with previous coach Hope Powell, Sanderson scored twice before half-time.

England will face France in Wednesday's final, kick-off 16:00 GMT, who progressed at the expense of Scotland on goal difference.

A Jayne Ross hat-trick helped Scotland beat Australia 4-2 in their final group game but a 94th-minute goal for France in their 3-0 win against the Netherlands meant the Scots missed out on a place in the final.

The goals were Sanderson's first for Cyprus Cup holders England since March 2010, when she scored in a 2-2 draw with Switzerland at the tournament.

England, who beat Canada in the 2013 final, finished with a 100% group record following a 2-0 win over Italy and a 3-0 victory against Finland but have not beaten Wednesday's opponents France since 1974.

England beat Canada

Head coach Sampson said: "I thought Lianne took her goals magnificently well and we were always a threat in the first half - we could have scored more goals before half-time.

"Against a team who are one of the best in the world we've got to take a big pat on the back for that, and it's great that we're through to the final."

"But we'll aim to build on our performances in the group stage and look to win the match. France showed how wonderfully technically gifted they are and it's going to be a very big test for us."

Sanderson started her third game back in the national side with a goal bundled in from a fine cross from midfielder Karen Carney.

The lead should have been doubled in the fourth minute, but striker Ellen White's eight-yard shot was cleared off the line by defender Emily Zurrer.

But England soon doubled their lead when Sanderson drove home a low 15-yard shot for her second goal.

After playing well in the first half England were often on the back foot after the interval, allowing the Canadians back into the game.

But despite failing to produce a single shot on target after the break, they held out to reach a second final in succession and a third in five years.

Scotland captain Gemma Fay was left reflecting on what might have been after her side, who finished the group stage unbeaten, were just beaten to a place in the final against England by France.

She said: "It was another great result for us, but it's so disappointing that we won't be playing against England in the final.

"That would have been a brilliant way to finish the tournament, but now we face South Korea on the last day and hopefully we can win to finish in third place."

Turbine Potsdam striker Lisa Evans put Scotland in front after 12 minutes before Sweden-based Ross scored in the 28th and 30th minutes.

Australian substitute Michelle Hayman reduced the arrears after the break before Ross restored Scotland's two-goal advantage. Hayman later scored her second goal of the game.