Scotland and Italy each admitted the better sides won as they kicked off their Group A campaigns with defeats by England and Germany. The victors stressed it had been far from easy.
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England manager Mo Marley spoke of relief after her side came through an exhausting 90 minutes with Scotland to claim a 3-1 win in their Group A opener. Germany went one better in Kumanovo, putting four past an Italy team whose coach, Corrado Carradini, was left to bemoan a few expensive moments of slackness. He, like Scotland coach Shelley Kerr, remains circumspect, however, as they turn attention to Thursday's crucial second games.
Mo Marley, England manager
It's a big three points. We knew it was going to be difficult as Scotland are a well-organised side: it's hard to break them down. We got the initial break with the reaction to a clearance – it's the type of luck you need when it's that tight but I think overall we had enough of the ball and created enough chances that we deserved the game all told. But it was hard work and the players have stressed how hard the game was, how hard the conditions were.
Shelley Kerr, Scotland coach
You have to put it in perspective: we were playing the holders so of course it's going to be difficult. I don't think there'll be many teams who get a result out of them because they are that good. We can look at our second-half performance, where effectively it was 1-1, and build on that. We started off very well in the second half, got a fantastic goal – it's just disappointing we couldn't hang on a bit longer [before conceding again]. We'll pick ourselves up and we'll be ready to go against Germany.
Valeria Kleiner, Germany captain
It was a good start for the team and we're now feeling good about our next match. We're focused on that and looking forward to it. It wasn't an easy game today; we didn't know how Italy play and they have some good players so we had to concentrate for the whole game to win it. Italy came out very strong and aggressive after half-time so we had to keep playing our game and we were successful. We don't know much about Scotland yet. I don't want to say how far we can go, but we have a good team and we can go into the Scotland match with confidence.
Corrado Corradini, Italy coach
Germany deserved their victory and they simply played better than us today, but our negligence made it easier for them. They should never have scored four goals and yet we let them. We need a different approach against England. It's going to be another tough match and if we play like we did today we'll lose again – we need to have a tactical rethink. It's going to be about how we play, though, and not about how they play. We hope to win it to keep our chances in the competition alive.