Smith stunner keeps England alive

Published: Friday 28 August 2009, 21.45CET
England 3-2 Russia
Russia went two up but a pulsating 18-minute first-half comeback capped by a stunning Kelly Smith winner revived England's hopes.
by Trevor Huggins
from Helsinki Football Stadium
Smith stunner keeps England alive
Kelly Smith is mobbed after putting England 3-2 up against Russia ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 28 August 2009, 21.45CET

Smith stunner keeps England alive

England 3-2 Russia
Russia went two up but a pulsating 18-minute first-half comeback capped by a stunning Kelly Smith winner revived England's hopes.

A stunning winner by Kelly Smith from the centre circle helped England storm back from two goals down to beat Russia and keep their quarter-final hopes alive at UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™.

Nightmare start
England, who had only ten players for most of their opening 2-1 defeat by Italy, went into the Group C game knowing they would be out of the tournament if they lost, as the now-qualified Sweden had earlier beaten the Azzurre 2-0. But Russia needed less than two minutes to take the lead through Ksenia Tsybutovich and Olesya Kurochkina made it 2-0 midway through the half. Karen Carney came swiftly to England's rescue, drilling home their first goal just two minutes later and then dinking the ball through for Eniola Aluko to equalise ten minutes after that.

Amazing goal
Smith completed the comeback three minute before the break with a breathtaking strike, trapping goalkeeper Elena Kochneva's 35-metre drop-kick in mid-air, allowing the ball one bounce and then sending a dipping half-volley from the centre circle which even the back-pedalling Kochneva could not keep out. As a result, England now only need a draw in their final game against Sweden on Monday in Turku to go through at least as one of the best two third-placed teams. Russia, who opened with a 3-0 loss to Sweden, must beat Italy in Helsinki to have any chance of progressing to the last eight.

Russian frustration
The frustration for Russia coach Igor Shalimov will be that his side had made a great start at Helsinki Football Stadium, Tsybutovich meeting Elena Morozova's corner with an unstoppable header. Tsybutovich then turned provider with her clever long ball upfield soaring over Alex Scott, fellow defender Faye White miskicking her interception and Kurochkina being left to slip the ball past the advancing Rachel Brown against the run of play.

England rally
England rolled with the punches, though, and Carney, who had been their brightest attacking threat, soon hauled her side back into the game. Smith scrambled the ball to her under pressure on the right and the winger had time to line up an angled shot from the edge of the area into the far corner. Carney then followed up by feeding the ball behind the Russian defence for Aluko to beat Kochneva at her near post. Cue Smith for her showcase strike and a goalless second half which clearly suited Hope Powell's side, though they rode their luck at times.

Att: 1,462

Last updated: 30/08/09 14.23CET

Related information

Team profiles

Related match






1Rachel Brown (GK)12Elena Kochneva (GK)
2Alex Scott5Tatiana Skotnikova (C)
4Fara Williams7Oksana Shmachkova
5Lindsay Johnson8Valentina Savchenkova
7Karen Carney
9Elena Fomina
8Katie Chapman10Olesya Kurochkina
9Eniola Aluko
11Olga Poryadina
10Kelly Smith
16Natalia Pertseva
11Sue Smith
17Elena Danilova
14Faye White (C)19Ksenia Tsybutovich
15Rachel Unitt21Elena Morozova


22Karen Bardsley (GK)1Elvira Todua (GK)
13Siobhan Chamberlain (GK)22Galina Vazhnova (GK)
6Anita Asante2Elena Terekhova
12Jill Scott3Anna Kozhnikova
16Jody Handley4Ekaterina Sochneva
17Lianne Sanderson6Nadezhda Myskiv
18Emily Westwood13Alla Rogova
19Laura Bassett14Nadezhda Kharchenko
20Danielle Buet15Olga Petrova
21Jessica Clarke
18Svetlana Tsydikova
20Natalia Barbashina


Hope Powell (ENG) Igor Shalimov (RUS)


Dagmar Damkova (CZE)

Assistant referees

Ella De Vries (BEL), Maria Luisa Villa Gutierrez (ESP)

Fourth official

Efthalia Mitsi (GRE)


  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution

See also

  • England


    Next match womensworldcup: v Turkey, 29 July 2010
  • Russia


    Next match womensworldcup: v Republic of Ireland, 21 August 2010