Watmore and Brooking praise England
Monday, 31 August, 2009
England Women's progress to quarter-final but remain in Turku
FA Chief Executive Ian Watmore and Director of Football Development Sir Trevor Brooking were in Finland on Monday night and were pleased to see England secure their passage into the last eight of the UEFA Championship.
Faye White's header gave the Three Lions the lead, but a penalty just before the break from Victoria Svensson levelled matters. After one win and a loss, England needed a point to make completely sure of a quarter-final spot, and although Italy's win over Russia left England in third spot in the group, it was good enough to progress to a knock-out meeting with hosts FInland on Thursday.
"The team gave a really strong performance tonight against one of the tournament favourites," Watmore told TheFA.com. "I felt we finished the game as the side more likely to win.
"The players can now look forward to staying in the lovely city of Turku and playing in front of a full house against our hospitable hosts on Thursday."
And Brooking was also pleased that the side will stay in Turku: "After a nervous start, the team settled well and Faye deserved her goal, it was a fantastic header to give us the lead and took the pressure off the team," he said.
"I thought the penalty was a little harsh on Katie Chapman and the half-time whistle probably came at the right time.
"After the break I felt we were the better team and looked more likely to go on and win the game. Kelly Smith finished strongly, which was also pleasing given her injury worries.
He added: "Third place allows us to stay in Turku now which is good for the squad and staff. We are already looking forward to playing Finland in front of a capacity crowd on Thursday afternoon, it should be a fantastic atmosphere."