Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Soccer Tournaments

Couple of Tournaments kicked off today in Europe: the prestigious Cyprus International Football Tournament and the inaugural Carling Nations Cup. Host nation Cyprus (91), Sweden (29), Ukraine (34) and Romania (57) make up the field for the tournament this year. Today pitted Sweden against Cyprus in the opener and the Ukraine against Romania in the second game. Sweden advanced on the strength of a pair of first half goals and knocked off the hosts 2-0. Tobias Hysen and Markus Berg were the goal scorers for Sweden. The Ukraine blew a two goal lead against the Romanians and needed a shootout to advance to the finals. Yaroslav Rakitskiy and Artem Milevskiy got the Ukraine off to their early lead, but a pair of goals from Dan Alexa equalized for Romania. The Ukraine won the shootout 4-2. So tomorrow's final pits the tournament's top ranked teams as Sweden will take on the Ukraine while Cyprus and Romania will play for third place.

The inaugural Carling Cup is being held in Dublin with Ireland (35), Wales (116), Northern Ireland (38) and Scotland (53) participating. Unlike the Cyprus Tournament, the Carling Cup is a Round Robin with the first round this week, and then the second and third rounds not being played until May. Ireland took on Wales today in the opener today and cruised to a 3-0 victory behind goals from Manchester United's Darron Gibson, Fulham's Damien Duff and Birmingham's Keith Fahey. Tomorrow pits Scotland against Northern Ireland. Here's the rest of the tournament schedule:

23 May 2011 Republic of Ireland v Northern Ireland Aviva Stadium, Dublin
24 May 2011 Wales v Scotland Aviva Stadium, Dublin
26 May 2011 Wales v Northern Ireland Aviva Stadium, Dublin
27 May 2011 Republic of Ireland v Scotland Aviva Stadium, Dublin

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