Cyprus Cup expands to 12 teams, includes five teams that will play in 2011 World Cup

The Cyprus Cup, which will take place from March 2-9 in Larnaka, Cyprus, features 12 teams this year. There will be three groups of four teams. The competing nations this year include five that are going to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup: defending Cyprus Cup champions Canada, England, France, New Zealand, and North Korea. The other teams in the Cyprus Cup this year include Italy, Scotland, the Netherlands, South Korea, Russia, Northern Ireland, and Switzerland.

Group 1: Canada, England, Italy, Scotland.

Group 2: France, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Switzerland.

Group 3: Russia, Korea Republic (South Korea), Northern Ireland, Korea DPR (North Korea)

The games will be played on March 2, 4, 7, and 9 (finals). Last year, Canada beat New Zealand, 1-0, to win the Cyprus Cup. Canada went 3-0 to finish atop Group 2, while New Zealand finished 2-0-1 and first in Group 1. The Netherlands beat Switzerland, 3-0, in the third-place match, England beat Italy, 3-2, in the fifth-place match, and Scotland beat South Africa, 2-1, in the seventh-place match. In 2009, England won the Cyprus Cup, and in 2008, Canada finished first.