'A tremendous effort'
Thursday, 30 September, 2010
Match-winner points to team performance after victory over Germany.
Claire Rafferty expressed her pride at the team performance which saw England come from behind to beat Germany 2-1 at Holmes Park in Whetstone, Leicestershire on Thursday afternoon.
With just six minutes remaining, Rafferty ran onto Brooke Chaplen's chipped through ball and got there just before the German goalkeeper, Alisa Vetterlein, to prod into an empty net from ten yards for what proved to be the match-winner.
It completed a deserved comeback for Brent Hills' side, after a Michelle Hinnigan free-kick had equalised Stefanie Mirlach's 21st-minute opener, and Rafferty believes this hunger is all down to the competition for places in the squad.
"It was great to score the winner but it was a tremendous team effort that won us the game," said the left-back.
"I'm really proud of the team performance, especially coming from a goal down, to beat a really good team but that just shows how hungry we all are," she continued.
"The squad is so competitive now. In every game and every training camp you've got to prove you deserve to be there. The Under-23s have become a lot more important in bridging the gap between the youth teams and the senior side. Our young players are now really good - they were European champions - so we all know we've got to be at our best."
And what of her goal?
"I can't remember the last time I scored, to be honest," she laughed.
"The ball just dropped to me and I could see the 'keeper coming out. She's a big 'keeper so I just thought to myself that I had to keep it low and luckily it went in.
"We didn't get disheartened when we went a goal behind and we always believed we could win. We got in their faces and they didn't like that. I thought we deserved to win."