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Points the objective - Hope
 Women's Football News 15 May 2007
Points the objective - Hope - 15 May 2007 - Women's Football NewsHope Powell admitted the result was the most important factor in England's 4-0 victory over Northern Ireland in their opening UEFA Championships qualifying match at Gillingham.
"My objective was the three points and we got that today," she said. "Credit to Northern Ireland, they made it difficult for us - especially in the first half when we got a little bit frustrated.
"We knew it would be difficult but things opened up for us once we got the first goal. We had to iron a few things out at half time and it got better in the second half and I felt we were far more composed."
Hope also explained her reason for making a number of changes to the starting line up: "It was about giving others the opportunity and I thought there was enough quality in the squad to win the game."
Northern Ireland manager Alfie Wylie paid tribute to his team, which held on for over half the match. "Our domestic season only started last week, so I was delighted for our girls as they worked very hard all week," he said. "It was 30 minutes before our goalkeeper made a save of note.
"We were worried once the second goal went in, that it would get out of hand. It hasn't been easy but we are proud of the effort they made.
"We have come a long way - if we'd played England twelve months ago it would have been double figures so we are proud of the progress we have made.
"If we can get any results at all (in the group), we'll look on it as progress. Our girls are ambassadors, trying to raise the profile of women's football in our country. The match we see as possibly our best chance to win is when we are at home to Belarus.
"England are a super side and we wish them all the best in the World Cup and hope they can do British football proud."

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