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Eniola Aluko, England's three-goal leading scorer at UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™, has vowed to attack Germany from the outset when she faces the holders in Thursday's decider at Helsinki's Olympic Stadium, telling uefa.com: "There's no point being cautious in a final."
Caution is certainly not a word which can be associated with England's campaign in Finland thus far, Hope Powell's squad having contributed to two of the most memorable matches of the finals. First in the dramatic comeback to beat Russia 3-2, Aluko equalised, and little under a week later hosts Finland were dispatched by the same scoreline in the last eight thanks, largely, to her coolly-taken double.
Given the prize at stake, many a side could be forgiven for opting for a more pragmatic outlook yet Aluko, who plays professionally for Saint Louis Athletica in the United States, is promising no let-up in her team's approach. "We are going in to win the game, there's no point being cautious in a final," she said. "You have to have to go and win the game so it will be the same attacking style you've seen in our other games."
The 22-year-old was an unused substitute when the teams drew in the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, the only time since 1999 that Germany have failed to win a match in that tournament or this one. "We got a lot of confidence from the 0-0 draw in the World Cup," added Aluko. "We are the only side in ten years to take points off Germany in a final tournament and you can only take confidence from that. I'm sure Germany will be wary of us."
Aluko will come face to face with her main rival for the adidas Golden Boot award, the four-goal top scorer in the final tournament, Inka Grings. "It's great to play against these players, to say I'm playing against Birgit Prinz and Inka Grings, players I've watched on TV," she added. "It's great at 22 to be part of this."
It is great, too, that Aluko and her squad-mates are now celebrated. "When you look at the interviews on uefa.com, Italy said we are the best team here," Aluko said. "Germany have said they appreciate our fast-paced attacking style. People appreciate the development of this national team. It's nice to hear and we can only show that by winning tomorrow.
When we win it will resound around the world of women's football and England will be recognised as one of the top teams in the world."
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