Sue's double delight
Thursday, 10 March, 2011
Sue Smith pleased with brace as Cyprus Cup comes to a close.
by Glenn Lavery
England v USA, Saturday 2 April at the Matchroom Stadium, home of Leyton Orient. Buy tickets online here
Sue Smith spoke of her delight at scoring her 15th and 16th England goals on the afternoon of her 90th international cap.
The winger’s double against South Korea on Wednesday afternoon guided England to a fifth-place finish in the Cyprus Cup and sent them home on a winning note.
“It has been a while since I last scored for England. I should be scoring more than I do, so it was really nice to get two against Korea,” Smith said.
She opened the scoring in the 16th minute with an in-swinging left-foot cross that was missed by everyone and nestled into the far corner. But that was only after she squandered a glorious opportunity in the opening moments.
“How can you round the ‘keeper and then hit the side netting?” she rhetorically asked, referring to her third-minute miss. “I couldn’t believe it. I knew I had to make up for it and thankfully I did.
“Before the game Jill Scott had asked me to whip balls into the far post for players coming in at the back so that’s what I was aiming for. It was a cross but thank God it went in.
“I’ll blame my right foot for that earlier miss!”
Smith certainly made amends with a goal in each half. Her second was a very well taken left-foot curler from just inside the South Korean box after 80 minutes, a goal which sealed a deserved England victory.
“I could have scored four to be honest,” Smith reflected. “But I’m very happy with the two. It’s great to score in any game, but particularly for your country.
“The win was obviously the main objective, though. It probably wasn’t the best tournament for us and we all wanted to finish off with a win to give us a confidence boost ahead of the USA game in April.”
The Lincoln Ladies player is one of the more experienced squad members and was part of the side that won the Cyprus Cup in 2009. Although England never quite scaled those heights this time round, Smith is upbeat about how the team are progressing, with the World Cup looming large.
“It took us a bit of time to get going in this competition,” she admitted.
“We got a good win against Italy but it probably wasn’t our best performance. We weren’t that good against Scotland either, but things picked up for the Canada game on Monday, where I thought we did really well. We were unlucky not to get the result, but thankfully we carried that performance into the Korea game and I thought we thoroughly deserved to win.
“But we know we can’t start off on the wrong foot in a major tournament, so that’s something we’ll be looking at before Germany. As we will our finishing. I was definitely guilty of some poor finishing against South Korea but as a whole squad we realise we need to be more clinical.
“One good thing that came out of this week, though, is that we showed we can get over defeats pretty quickly. Everyone was really down after the Scotland game but we managed to pull off a fantastic performance against Canada and we were unfortunate not to get the goals to go with it. Again, that was down to our finishing.
“We are a bit disappointed not to have done better this week,” she said in conclusion, “but we can take a lot of positives away from it. We have played well in the last two games and we will look at the first two games and learn from them.”
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