Germany, England enjoy historic Wembley date
Monday, November 24, 2014
As a record crowd of over 45,000 watched Germany beat England 3-0 at Wembley, UEFA.com spoke to Annike Krahn, Lianne Sanderson and Stephanie Houghton.
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Germany were the last team to win at the old Wembley and the first to taste international victory at the rebuilt stadium, and their women emulated that achievement on Sunday with a 3-0 defeat of England.
It was the first women's game at the new Wembley and the crowd of 45,619 was by some distance a record for England female team, and it could have been more had transport issues forced the Football Association (FA) to restrict ticket sales to below capacity. England's Jordan Nobbs hit the bar after ten seconds but an Alex Scott own goal and a Célia Šašić solo run and strike made it 2-0 on 12 minutes.
England captain Stephanie Houghton called an impromptu team huddle and the home team found their feet, and while Šašić headed in a third before the break, otherwise the European champions were matched by their hosts. Both teams now turn their thoughts to next summer's FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada, for which each qualified with a perfect record; UEFA.com heard from the players at Wembley.
Annike Krahn, Germany defender
We are really proud we had the chance to play at such a great stadium with such a history. Also it was a classic game between England and Germany here. It was an amazing experience for all the players. Germany won, and maybe when you see the score you think it was easy. But it was not easy for us, it was a tough game. I think England are a great team. We did deserve to win, though, as we scored the goals.
Since England changed their coach their game is more variable – they do not play the same style every time. So it makes it difficult for opponents. We have also changed [from the past] but we always have good players, young players coming up. They are already good but they had no experience – they have to learn. It's great our coach gives them experience.
Lianne Sanderson, England forward
It was an amazing day for everyone, our families and all of our friends, and hopefully this can be one of many games at Wembley. It's been a great day, 50,000 here. But for us, losing always hurts, but we can learn some lessons from today, not be too downhearted. We've not been tested until now. It is important to test ourselves against the best nations. Credit to Germany, they are a quality team, the way they keep the ball, they're strong.
The Germans are just ruthless. The way their men play, the way Borussia Dortmund play, the way Bayern play, is the same as the way the girls play. For us [in the first 12 minutes] it wasn't nerves, they were just ruthless – they took our chances. If we had scored after ten seconds when we created that great chance, it could have been a different game. We'll learn a lot of lessons from this.
[On the team huddle when they went two down] Sometimes you have to regroup and remind yourselves of the gameplan and what you have to do. We went 2-0 down, then 3-0 down, and sometimes people can lose their head. It was important for Steph to bring us in, a bit of information she can give us, just relax, keep the ball and stick to our gameplan. The second half could have gone two ways – we could have got steamrollered, lose about 6-0, but in the end we showed in the second half what we are capable of – we came out fighting.
Stephanie Houghton, England captain
It was a special day for us all to be playing at Wembley in front of so many fans. Barring the result, it shows just how far women's football has come in England. We've had a very long season with our clubs and our country. We've qualified for the World Cup. We wanted to end it on a high and I think we've done that. To play at Wembley for England is a dream come true for us all.
You are going to get nerves. It's been hyped up for the last three weeks playing here, and I know for a fact that even experienced players were nervous, myself included. That comes along with the amount of people watching, the media coverage we received and the amount of people talking about you. The players haven't really experienced this type of arena and pressure. It is going to stand us in good stead for the World Cup.
The Germans are renowned for being physical. Their strength on and off the ball, their pace, their movement. For a neutral it is a pleasure to watch and it's something you aspire to be like. [Célia Šašić] – her movement's frightening up front.