Chapman giving 100%
Thursday, 20 May, 2010
Katie Chapman is confident England can maintain their flawless record.
Malta v England
FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 Qualifier
Thursday 20 May 2010 (KO 14.00 BST)
Centenary Stadium, Ta’Qali, Malta
Chicago Red Stars midfielder Katie Chapman is hoping for another slice of divine intervention as she heads into England’s World Cup qualifying group game against Malta in Ta’Qali on Thursday.
Chapman hit the most important goal of the national team’s World Cup campaign to date, in last month’s 1-0 win against group leaders Spain, on her beloved Millwall’s ground the New Den.
“God was looking down and thought ‘she’s come home, let her score’,” said Bermondsey-born Chapman, who started her career with Millwall Lionesses and is a life-long supporter of the Lionesses’ parent club.
“I don’t score that often,” added the 27-year-old midfielder, “but it was unreal to score at Millwall – I absolutely loved it!” The England fans loved it too as Chapman’s goal meant that Hope Powell’s team maintained their 100 per cent qualifying record.
Keeping that record alive in Ta’Qali should be well within their capabilities as they take on a Malta team which they beat 8-0 in the first of their Qualifiers, Chapman on that October day in Blackpool watching from the substitutes’ bench.
“It looked an easy game,” said Chapman, who switched to America’s professional league from Arsenal earlier this year. “But you’ve got to take every game as it comes and Malta will have improved from that one.
“The first aim will be to take three points, and then obviously to score as many goals as we can in case it comes down to goal difference at the end of the group.”
Victory over the Maltese would put England level on points with Spain and with a game in hand, though the leaders currently have a goal difference of 24 compared to England’s 15.
But Powell’s team will be in a great position to win the group without goal difference coming into the equation if they beat Malta and then take at least a point from next month’s away game against Spain. And Chapman firmly believes that she and her colleagues can achieve that aim.
“The campaign’s gone really well so far,” she said. “We’ve still got a tough game to come in Spain, but we did well to beat them at home and I think we are improving as a team with every game.
“I believe we are good enough side to win the group. It’s going to be tough but we just need to trust ourselves, keep our foot on the pedal and get the points we need.”