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Women's Football News
Wales Under-19 manager Jarmo Matikainen was full of praise for his team after they narrowly lost 1-0 to Denmark in the opening match of the UEFA Under-19 Championship Finals.
Wales went down to a second half goal from Nikoline Frandsen and Jarmo told Women's Soccer Scene afterwards: "I'm very proud of our team's performance, not just the team that played but with the whole time we have been together with the players and staff. The preparation and approach has been very professional and very good.
"We planned and we talked quite a lot about the fact that we don't play the occasion or the event, we play the game and the girls did exactly that. I think we were a little bit unlucky not to get anything out of the game but on the other hand, if you get done by a set play, the only one you can blame is yourself.
"I'm really pleased with the way we defended in general, we were extremely well organised and also patient and very clever in those defensive situations. [The goal] was the only time we weren't clever or organised but having said that, I'm very pleased with the way the goalkeeper, back four and the whole team defended today."
The next opponents for Wales will be England in a match which has been switched to Parc y Scarlets, but Jarmo insists that the team will not get carried away with such a high profile game. "We approach every game the same in this tournament," he said. "They're all just games of football and we are not going to play the opponent, the event or the occasion.
"It's another game of football, another learning curve for us - our players are privileged to be in this tournament and today they certainly were worth it."
Ellie Curson admitted that she was disappointed with the goal they conceded but remained in high spirits ahead of the England match.
"We concentrate a lot on set pieces and that is something we need to get right in elite football," she reflected. "Unfortunately that's the only thing that came between us today.
"That's the only thing that really disappointed us today but overall we're really impressed with our own performance levels. We're on the rise and hopefully we can do better against England and maybe we can get something from it."
Denmark captain Mie Jans was understandably delighted with the result and also praised the host side. "I'm very happy," she smiled, "it was a good game for us and they [Wales] were very good.
"We scored the goal and stand here as winners and I think we played a very good game and I am very happy with three points after the first match."
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