Algarve Cup: Breaking Down Star Performers in Portugal

Simon PattersonContributor IMarch 13, 2014

Germany's team pose for the media with their trophy after winning the women's soccer Algarve Cup at the Algarve stadium, outside Faro, southern Portugal, Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Associated Press

The Algarve Cup boasted some of the best players in women's football today with 14 international sides making the journey to Portugal. Here we take a look at four of the top players over the last week of action.

The Algarve Cup is a prestigious invitational event and the first major tournament since the European Championships in July 2013. It featured the top three teams according to the FIFA World Rankings

Germany, fresh from European Championship success, continued their impressive form to win the tournament with four straight victories. We start with their star performer of the Algarve Cup.

Dzsenifer Marozsan

Marozsan at Euro 2013
Marozsan at Euro 2013Martin Rose/Getty Images

Player of the 2014 tournament and top scorer with four goals, Marozsan is the obvious place for such a list to begin. With her help Germany secured first place in the cup, and she scored the decisive third goal from 20 yards out in the final against Japan. She also hit the net twice against Iceland, who eventually placed third, demonstrating her ability to score at crucial moments. 

The 21-year-old German has a wealth of experience at international level with 33 appearances and 18 goals, perhaps unsurprising as she made her debut in the Bundesliga at the record-breaking age of 14 years and seven months. Expect to see much more from her over the next 10 years.

Abby Wambach

Abby Wambach scored twice in the tournament, taking her international tally to a phenomenal 167 goals and increasing her own world record in the process. The 33-year-old striker has long been a mainstay of the United States national side, gaining over 200 caps. 

USA had a mixed tournament overall, finishing bottom of Group B, but rallying against North Korea to take seventh place in the cup. It was in this match that Wambach scored her two vital goals.

Abby was also quick to pay tribute over Twitter to her team-mate Heather O'Reilly. Heather became the seventh U.S. player to play 200 times for her country.

Nadine Angerer

Another German, Nadine Angerer has had an incredible year, having already won the FIFA Ballon d'Or alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in 2014. She also saved two penalties in the European Championship final to help Germany to victory in 2013.

Michael Probst/Associated Press

In this tournament the 35-year-old shared goalkeeping duties with Almuth Schult, who at the age of 23 may slowlybe  taking over in goal for Germany. Together they only conceded one goal in all four matches, providing Germany with a solid defensive base to help them win the tournament. 


Aya Miyama

Japan had a good tournament, coming in second. Although they were soundly beaten by Germany 3-0 in the final, as the third-ranked team in the world they demonstrated their quality by topping a difficult group containing Sweden, Denmark and the United States. 

Francisco Seco/Associated Press

Aya Miyama played a fundamental role in their success in Portugal. In the last 10 minutes of their first match, Japan were trailing USA a goal to nil. In the 82nd minute Miyama stepped up to place a long-range free-kick past the American keeper.

Similarly, with the match between Japan and Sweden locked in an apparent stalemate, Miyama stepped up to score a penalty in the 89th minute. Those two contributions changed the entire complexion of the group and helped propel Japan into the final.