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Coach Kay hails 'great achievement'
 Women's Football News 17 Jul 2013
 
Coach Kay hails 'great achievement' - 17 Jul 2013 - Women's Football News

 
Great Britain Head Coach Kay Cossington paid tribute to her squad following their fantastic achievement of winning the Gold Medal at the World University Games in Kazan. 
 
GBR struck gold after beating Mexico 6-2 in the Final and afterwards Kay said: "We've always known we have goals in us - it just takes for us to get one or two ahead and the floodgates open, we play with such confidence and creativity.
 
"It's a great achievement - some of these players hadn't played any international football. Winning is what we came here to do, and thankfully we've achieved that.
 
"Personally, in terms of achievements, this is up there with the best of them. I'm completely overwhelmed.
 
"[Fran Kirby] has had a tough time with a number of things, missed out on international football, and to see her receive that award [player of the final] was overwhelming because I know what journey she's been on."
 
Player of the final Fran Kirby added: "It's absolutely amazing, everything everyone dreams of when they come here. We knew what we wanted to do, but it's incredible that we managed to do it.
 
"We knew we could score goals second half, we found out what their weaknesses were, and used that to our advantage.
 
"It's been amazing - the staff have been wonderful and it's an experience I'm never going to forget."
 
GBR provided a golden finish to their World University Games campaign, twice coming from behind before overwhelming Mexico to become Champions. Both teams had scored goals aplenty in their run to the final, and so perhaps we should not have been surprised to have seen eight of them when they met head on.
 
Mexico started more confidently, and led on ten minutes as they caught GBR on the counter and Monica Monsivais found room to slot into the net.
 
Crucially, however, GBR were not behind for long. Michelle Hinnigan's corner was headed down by Kerys Harrop to Naomi Cole, who thumped in. But five minutes after that, the game swung back in Mexico's direction. The GBR defence failed to deal with a cross from the left, the ball fell to danger woman Veronica Corral Ang and she finished coolly for her tenth goal of the tournament.
 
The two sides both had spells of dominance before half time, but the vital fourth goal went GBR's way. Hinnigan played a beauty of a pass from the left, finding Izzy Christiansen in lots of space, and her cross-shot was turned into her own net by Cristina Ferral Montalvan, meaning the game was delicately poised at 2-2 at half time.
 
It remained balanced on a knife edge for most of the second half. Danielle Carter had a very good penalty shout turned down, and Christiansen's shot from outside the box was tipped round the post by a scrambling Anjuli Ladron.
 
Mexico remained a very real threat, with their touch and passing that little bit sharper, although they too could not find a breakthrough.
 
That breakthrough eventually came for GBR on 82 minutes, and it was an excellent team move which brought it about. Danielle Carter passed to Christiansen and she shifted the ball left to where Fran Kirby had found plenty of room, and she finished low across Ladron.
 
That goal appeared to deflate Mexico and inspire GBR to score more goals - three of them in the next ten minutes. Kirby turned provider for the fourth, whipping in one of her trademark crosses from the left, and substitute Aileen Whelan finished it off. Within a minute it was five - Carter picking out Kirby with the Mexican defence all at sea; she advanced into the box before clipping a serene finish into the net.
 
The goal rush did not end there. Kirby was put in on goal again and although Ladron managed to clear her effort, Carter was following up and slotted home.
 
The final whistle brought an outpouring of emotion from the entire squad and management. Winning gold is the result not only of having good players, capable of going on to achieve big things within the sport, but also from creating genuine squad unity and a commitment to working together for success.
 
Photo courtesy of RIA Novosti for OC Kazan 2013

 
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