Delight and relief were the dominant emotions for Hope Powell after Jill Scott sent her England side through to the UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ final with a header from Karen Carney's corner four minutes before the end of extra time. Before that, their opponents from the Netherlands had produced another impressive defensive display, and Oranje coach Vera Pauw praised her players for their efforts throughout the tournament.
Hope Powell, England manager
If I'm honest, I think we were the better team but better teams have played and lost and certainly played and lost in this tournament. We knew how they would set up and their system is very, very frustrating to play against, but it works for them and they stuck very well at it. Fortunately, we were patient. We missed a few chances that perhaps we might have scored, but the main things is we got there in the end – in the very end. I'm just really delighted it's over and we can look forward to the next game.
[On leaving out Karen Carney] We knew their full-backs are very, very physical and we thought Jess [Clarke] could come on and compete well against those two and perhaps run at them a bit and if we needed to bring Karen on, we could. As it happened, we needed to. I must give credit to Jess Clarke, I thought she was the reason we scored the first goal, actually. We did set a target [before the tournament]; we just didn't share it with the media. The target was we wanted to play six games. Our main aim was to get out of the group but the ultimate aim was to get ourselves into the final. We're there now and the next step, of course, is that we want to win it.
Kelly Smith, England forward & Carlsberg Player of the Match
We're absolutely delighted. We're thrilled to be in the final. I thought it was a great team performance by us tonight. Credit to Holland, they made it very difficult for us. We knew how they were going to set up and at times it was frustrating for us with them having ten players behind the ball, but our patience showed tonight.
Vera Pauw, Netherlands coach
The fairy tale almost continued. I think we would have had a chance if it had gone to penalties, but the best team won. I'm proud of my players: they were mature in their play and it's hard to lose to a goal [four] minutes from the end. What we did here was fantastic and today it was better again. They have become different players in a few weeks' time. We know where we stand but we've beaten a few teams higher than us in the rankings. We gave away the corner [for England's winner] a little too easily and our marking was lacking a few times.
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