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England coach Hope Powell was pleased with her team's fighting spirit after they came from two goals down to beat Russia 3-2 and get their UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ campaign back on track after an opening-match defeat by Italy. Igor Shalimov rued his team's failure to hold their advantage, but believes Russia are not yet out of the tournament and are capable of beating Italy in their final game. Kelly Smith, meanwhile, winner of the Carlsberg Player of the Match award, modestly put her wonder strike from the centre circle largely down to luck.
Hope Powell, England coach
Sometimes, we make it particularly difficult for ourselves. Conceding very early to a very good goal, then conceding again and having to dig deep and come back and score three goals, it's not an easy task, certainly against a team like Russia, who I think performed admirably. I'm sure they'll be very disappointed, but what a team. They had us on the back foot and made it very very difficult. I'm just glad we came out on top. I think the most important thing is that we showed absolute resilience. We knew it was going to be tough, that we were in the fight of our lives. It was a survival fight, and we showed character. We're still in the mix, and ready to go again. We want to win the group.
Kelly Smith, Carlsberg Player of the Match & England scorer of England's winning goal
The whole team dug deep, going two goals down is always tough, but we stuck together, we had a belief and we've shown great character to score three goals. We're just pleased we got the three points tonight. I think the keeper kind of miskicked it and, luckily enough, it fell to me. I only had one thought in my mind and, fortunately, I put enough on it to just go over her head. I was just really pleased that it put us 3-2 up, but it's not about the goal, it's about the team and picking up three points, which was absolutely crucial tonight.
Igor Shalimov, Russia coach
We should have held on to the lead, but, maybe, we were a little bit scared. This is a psychological question. In the first game, against Sweden [lost 3-0], we were afraid of their team, now we've been scared of our advantage. We hope for results, but also we expect our players will get experience from international matches at such a high level, because maybe the last two show that they do not have enough of it.
Today, we had only three players on the pitch who had played at this level [in 2001] and some of them were from the team that won the [UEFA] European Under-19 Championship in 2005. We still have a chance. Regarding Italy, a draw could be enough for them. Today, we saw them playing and they started defensively. I think they will play 4-5-1. But I also think we can [beat Italy] and I think we could have won today.
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