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England dreams are hit for six
 Women's Football News 10 Sep 2009
 
England dreams are hit for six - 10 Sep 2009 - Women's Football NewsGermany 6 (Prinz 19,76, Behringer 22, Kulig 51, Grings 62,73)
England 2 (Carney 24, K.Smith 55)

England's dreams of landing a first ever European title were ended by Germany whose ruthless and clinical finishing proved to be too much in an open Final at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki.
 
The hard run and extra time in the semi finals may have taken its toll on a valiant England side who pushed their illustrious opponents all the way in the first half before Germany found another gear after the break, which proved too much for them. However the margin of defeat was very rough on the England players who gave everything for the cause.
 
Faye White was passed fit to play and captain England but had to wear a protective mask to cover her fractured and dislocated cheekbone, coming back in to replace the unfortunate Lindsay Johnson. Hope Powell also recalled Jill Scott and Karen Carney in place of Sue Smith and Jess Clarke.
 
White was involved early on with a vital challenge to put off Birgit Prinz after the powerful German striker made her way into the area.
 
However it was England who came very close to breaking the deadlock in the eighth minute after Kelly Smith was brought down 25 yards from goal. Fara Williams stepped up to drill her shot past the diving Nadine Angerer but inches past the post.
 
The opening stages had been very open but it was Germany who opened the scoring in the 19th minute. Melanie Behringer slid a through ball into the path of Inka Grings who cut the ball across the area for Birgit Prinz to tuck her shot past Rachel Brown, despite a despairing challenge from Alex Scott.
 
England almost responded straight away, Carney's cross from the right broke for Kelly Smith but her shot was blocked by Annike Krahn at the expense of a corner.
 
However disaster struck just three minutes later as Behringer picked up the ball 35 yards from goal and unleashed a powerful strike which beat Brown and found the top corner of the net for the second goal.
 
It needed a moment of inspiration to bring England back into the game and their taliswoman provided it. Kelly Smith produced a moment of brilliance to trick her way past Krahn on the goal line and laid the ball across goal for Carney to slot into the empty net.
 
Now England's tails were up again and Williams fired a 25-yard strike narrowly over whilst Jill Scott almost repeated her semi final heroics, as a corner was half cleared as far as Carney who returned the ball into the area for Scott whose header was cleared off the line by Behringer.
 
There was a scare at the start of the second half as Prinz broke into the area but Casey Stoney rescued the situation with a vital tackle. However the respite was only brief as, from the resulting corner, Simone Laudehr fired against the post and, although Stoney blocked on the line, the ball fell kindly for Kim Kulig to ram home from six yards.
 
Still England would not lie down and, unsurprisingly, Smith was to the fore as they dragged themselves back into the game once again. Carney slid a pass towards Smith on the edge of the area, where she skipped past Krahn's challenge before placing a left foot shot into the far corner of the net.
 
Williams was just off target with a left foot strike from 25 yards but Germany were deal another blow with their next attack. Kerstin Garefrekes teased Stoney on the right before her cross was met by Inka Grings whose header looped over Brown and into the net to make it 4-2.
 
A dangerous low cross from Celia Okoyino da Mbabi was sliced against her own post by Alex Scott as she attempted to clear and Prinz volleyed over from Laudehr's cross as the Germans sought a fifth goal.
 
It was to come with seventeen minutes remaining as a pass from Chapman was intercepted. Germany immediately broke for goal and Grings evaded a challenge from White on the edge of the area before striking a left foot shot past the dive of Brown.
 
A desperately tired England were wilting further under the increasing pressure and another mistake led to Grings threading a through ball into the path of Prinz who made no mistake with a typically powerful finish.
 
For a while it looked as though England would fall apart completely under the pressure from the German juggernaut but they held themselves together and even tried to seek a further consolation goal late on.
 
The final whistle brought now familar German celebrations as they carried off yet another trophy but a shattered England side can reflect on their recent progress and learn how to take it on from there.
 
Germany: Nadine Angerer, Saskia Bartusiak, Babett Peter, Kim Kulig, Annike Krahn, Simone Laudehr, Melanie Behringer (sub Celia Okoyino da Mbabi 59mins), Inka Grings, Birgit Prinz, Linda Bresonik, Kerstin Garefrekes (sub Fatmire Bajramaj 83mins).

England: Rachel Brown, Alex Scott, Casey Stoney, Fara Williams, Faye White, Anita Asante, Karen Carney, Katie Chapman (sub Emily Westwood 86mins), Eniola Aluko (sub Lianne Sanderson 81mins), Kelly Smith, Jill Scott.

 
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