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Canadian women advance to Cyprus Cup final Add to ...

Emily Zurrer scored the game’s only goal Sunday as Canada defeated the Netherlands 1-0 to advance to a fifth straight women’s final at the Cyprus Cup.

The 24-year-old defender scored on a header in the 84th minute after a free kick from the left by teammate Sophie Schmidt.

Canada will meet France in Tuesday’s final.

“I thought that was the hardest I’ve seen this group of players work and if we can keep that going it’s going to put us in a great position going forward to the Olympics,” said coach John Herdman. “It’s exciting, we are looking forward to playing the French as we know it will be a tough game.

“There’s something there that the girls will get up for.”

Zurrer also scored the decisive goal in Canada’s 2-1 win over the Netherlands in the final at the 2011 tournament.

After a quiet first half that was largely played in midfield, Canada came out after halftime and started carving out opportunities thanks to some good crosses.

On one of the few chances created by Netherlands, Zurrer, who was making her 2012 debut, made a last-ditch tackle to deny Dutch striker Manon Melis in the 69th minute.

Erin McLeod didn’t have much work to do all game, but the Canadian goalkeeper was sharp when called upon. On only the second Dutch shot on goal, coming in the 70th minute, McLeod got down well to her right to deny Sherida Spitse’s 18-yard attempt.

Just a few moments later, Canada responded with a chance of its own. After a skillful control of the ball in the air by Schmidt, the midfielder played a pass to Christine Sinclair. She crossed to Melissa Tancredi but her close-range effort was stopped.

The Canadians have done well in Cyprus in recent years, making the final every year, and winning in 2008, 2010 and last year. Their all-time record is now 15-1-1.

“We’re going for a three-peat,” said Zurrer.

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