England's World Cup dreams are over after going down 0-1 to France in Saint Etie
England's World Cup dreams are over after going down 0-1 to France in Saint Etienne, losing 0-2 on aggregate. France have taken the last UEFA qualifying spot and will compete in the 16-nation World Cup Finals in China, September 2003.
France 1 - 0 England
France win 2-0 on aggregate
FIFA 2003 Women's World Cup
Play-off Final - 2nd leg
Stade Geoffroy Guichard, St Etienne
Saturday 16th November 2002, 3.00pm kick off (2pm GMT)
England had started off brightly, but France seemed to have the edge and once they'd settled into the game, they were never going to let their first leg advantage slip.
France were cheered on by a vociferous crowd of over 23,000, smashing the previous national record for women's football that stood at 9,500. But England silenced them with some good early play and the Charlton Athletic midfielder Fara Williams had a shot well blocked inside the first two minutes.
France began to settle and, quick on the counter-attack, they often found space behind the re-shuffled England back-four - missing the calming influence of Faye White, who suffered a cruciate ligament rupture last week.
Captain Karen Walker was guilty of missing a good opportunity on 18 minutes, when she received the ball on the edge of the six-yard box only to scuffle her shot for a goal-kick.
England could rightly feel some injustice on 32 minutes when France had their best chance of the early proceedings; the referee awarded an indirect free-kick for goalkeeper Pauline Cope picking up what she deemed a back pass from Casey Stoney - although Stoney had, in fact, chested the ball to her 'keeper. Stoney soon made up for any part in the hysteria by blocking Marinette Pichon's shot after a touch on the indirect kick in the area. Cope had to be at her best too, to save Sandrine Soubeyrand's header from the resulting corner.
Spurred on by the excellent crowd support, France pushed on and were awarded a free-kick on the left flank after right-back Rachel MacArthur fouled Peggy Provost. MacArthur was booked and Sonia Bompastor's free-kick rebounded off Cope's right-hand post, with Sammy Britton on hand to clear the ball from danger.
Marinette Pichon, the scorer of France's winning goal in the first leg, came out strongly after the break and put England under pressure.
It wasn't long before they took the lead. A Stephanie Mugneret shot was punched clear by Cope, but only as far as the French captain Corinne Diacre who controlled the ball and put her shot into the bottom right corner on 54 minutes.
Powell immediately introduced Karen Burke for Amanda Barr to give extra strength to England's midfield. Burke had a good chance to open the scoring for England on 73 minutes, but her close-range shot went across the goalmouth after France had cleared an England corner.
Stoney, at centre-back, nearly netted an own goal on 80 mins when her clearance of substitute Emmanuelle Sykora's shot hit her own upright.
Late substitute Sue Smith, on for Rachel Yankey, added some impetus down the left, but her efforts were to no avail.
Pauline Cope, Rachel Unitt, Mary Phillip, Casey Stoney, Rachel MacArthur, Rachel Yankey (sub 75 mins Sue Smith), Fara Williams (sub 84 mins Vicky Exley), Sammy Britton, Kristy Moore, Karen Walker (c), Amanda Barr (sub 56 mins Karen Burke)
Subs: Rachel Brown, Leanne Champ, Carly Hunt, Jody Handley
Booked: Amanda Barr 32 mins (encroaching free-kick), Rachel McArthur 38 mins (foul)
Celine Marty, Sabrine Viquier, Peggy Provost, Corinne Diacre (c), Sandrine Soubeyrand, Stpehanie Mugneret (sub 90 mins Laura Georges), Aline Rierra, Sonia Bompastor, Marie-Ange Kramo (sub 78 mins Emmanuelle Sykora), Marinette Pichon, Elodie Woock
Subs: Sarah M'Barek, Candie Herbert, Severine Lecoufle, Celine Deville, Hoda Lataff
Goalscorer: Corinne Diacre (54)
Referee: Nicole Petignat (Switzerland)
From Bev Ward in St Etienne