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Miettinen delight as Finland extend stay in Wales

Published: Sunday 25 August 2013, 22.09CET
Marianne Miettinen hailed a triumph "for all of girls' and women's football in Finland" after her team held a quietly pleased Germany side to join their opponents in the semis.
by John Atkin
from Richmond Park

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Published: Sunday 25 August 2013, 22.09CET

Miettinen delight as Finland extend stay in Wales

Marianne Miettinen hailed a triumph "for all of girls' and women's football in Finland" after her team held a quietly pleased Germany side to join their opponents in the semis.

Marianne Miettinen, Finland coach
Finland are not so often in this final tournament and now we have qualified for the [FIFA U-20 Women's] World Cup next year and we are in the semi-finals of the European Championship. I couldn't be more proud of my team and I really think these girls deserve everything they got today. This is fantastic for all of girls' and women's football in Finland, not just for this team.

Today was a lot of hard defending and with that solid grounding we got the feeling that we were in the game and we could try to punish our opponents in their weak areas when we got the ball. We were good in the transition, a really good team all round, a compact unit – and we used the weak spots in Germany's defence we knew would be there.

This was Finland's most complete performance. My players are really good at taking on advice and finding ways to play against different opponents. We also had two '96-born players in central midfield and I think both of them took really big responsibility and did their jobs really well. We have new leaders emerging all the time.

England – we've been staying in the same hotel for two weeks so we know the faces but not their game. I think both France and England are good teams, totally different types of teams. England might suit us quite well.

Maren Meinert, Germany coach
I was not really surprised by Finland – I had already noticed that their two forwards are quite quick and dangerous. I also told my team that any side that picks up four points from two games has to be good and I think they showed that today.

I am actually rather pleased with my team, if not so much with the result. In the first half we lacked a certain drive towards goal and quick transitions as well. We did much better in the second half, where we attacked quite well, but once or twice we were not fully focused in defence and we were punished.

It was a good learning experience for my players for the semi-final where you cannot allow that to happen. I have to say I am very pleased with our performance and our will to win the match, even though we did not really have to do so.

I haven't seen France at this tournament so far, [assistant coach] Anouschka Bernhard has done. But if you talk about sides like England or France you cannot really pick a favourite. I know they both have good teams and if you see by how little they were separated [by one goal's difference in Group A], then that is a sign both are playing good football. We respect them both.

Last updated: 05/09/13 18.23CET

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