Rachel Unitt grabbed her fourth goal for England as they hit back to draw 1-1 with Sweden.
England 1-1 Sweden
Dasaki Stadium, Achna
1pm, Thursday 09 February 2006
England came up against a resilient Sweden side who took an early lead but, showing all the qualities that will be required when they take on France next month, Hope Powell's side hit back to earn a draw.
The Swedes made nine changes from Tuesday's game and it was one of those newcomers, centre forward Maria Aronsson, who opened the scoring at the Dasaki Stadium.
The experienced forward controlled a fine Olsson pass, turned Katie Chapman and played a sublime ball behind Mary Phillip, for Aronsson to slip a cool finish past the advancing Rachel Brown.
A good run down the right on fifteen minutes from Karen Carney almost brought England back on level terms but her cut back towards Kelly Smith was snuffed out by Sara Larsson.
After half an hour a superb last gasp challenge by Rachel Unitt denied Aronsson after another strong run from Olsson, whilst Anna Paulson also went close with a header.
England started far brighter at the beginning of the second period and began to carve out a number of chances.
A deep corner from the left foot of Jo Potter found her Charlton teammate arriving at the far post but Chapman headed well over.
On 63 minutes England made a tactical change which returned instant dividends. Casey Stoney came off the bench for Amanda Barr which saw Lindsay Johnson move to centre back, Chapman into the centre of midfield and Smith up front.
Potter's free kick was hung up on the edge of the six yard box where Chapman, now pushed further forward, challenged Lundgren.
The loose ball fell to Unitt and the Everton defender netted her fourth international goal from eight yards out.
Despite a number of chances for both sides it would have been unfair had either side lost a thrilling game, from which Powell took a lot of positives.
"I don't think we really performed in the first half and it was great credit to the players that they turned the game round" Hope told TheFA.com.
"After the Euro's I felt that the sides were very closely matched and these two games have proved that again.
"I told the players ahead of today's game that with the height we have, we could create some chances if our dead ball delivery was right.
"Today we did that. Jo Potter is growing in stature and placed some really difficult balls to defend against.
"With players like Jo and some of the experimentation we've tried this week, we are always looking for another tool that we can bring out of the locker.
"We have a lot of versatility in our squad and these games have given me plenty to think about ahead of the game against Iceland, before the big one against France."
England: Rachel Brown, Lindsay Johnson, Rachel Unitt, Anita Asante, Katie Chapman, Mary Phillip (captain), Karen Carney, Fara Williams, Amanda Barr (Casey Stoney 63), Kelly Smith (Eniola Aluko 82), Jo Potter,
Sweden: Sofia Lundgren, Maria Bergkvist, Sara Larsson, Karolina Westberg, Anna Poulson, Maria Karlsson, Nilla Fischer, Salina Olsson, Johanna Almgren, Victoria Svensson (captain), Maria Aronsson,