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Monday, 16 September, 2002, 20:43 GMT 21:43 UK
Walker keeps England in hunt
Karen Walker (left) scored twice for England
Karen Walker (left) scored twice for England
Iceland 2-2 England

England captain Karen Walker twice rescued her side for a vital draw with Iceland in the first leg of the World Cup play-off semi-final at the National Stadium in Reykjavik.

Walker first struck 60 seconds after Olga Faerseth's 42nd-minute opener for the home side.

And she then cancelled out Erla Hendriksdottir's 56th-minute header with a curling shot three minutes from time.

The two sides meet again in the second leg in Birmingham on Sunday ahead of next year's finals in China.


If she can keep running around like that I don't care if she is 50
England coach Hope Powell on 33-year-old Walker

England were missing key trio Katie Chapman, through pregnancy, Kelly Smith, still recovering from a serious knee injury, and goalkeeper Pauline Cope, who failed a late fitness test.

But they dominated the opening exchanges and nearly went in front when Karen Burke's 15th-minute shot rebounded off the post.

Walker followed up with a blocked shot which came out to Sammy Britton, but her shot flew over the bar.

Iceland felt they should have been awarded a penalty two minutes later when Margret Olafsdottir went down in the box under a challenge from Britton.

England kept up the pressure and Walker was denied again on 37 minutes when she headed straight at the keeper.


It's going to be a tough trip to Birmingham for us but we are hopeful
Iceland coach Jorundur Aki Sveinsson

But Iceland took the lead against the run of play.

Jonsdottir surged down the right flank and picked out Faerseth, who fired into the top right-hand corner.

But the home side's lead was short-lived as Burke's shot rebounded off the woodwork and was fed to Walker, who scored.

Iceland reclaimed the lead when Faerseth's cross found Hendriksdottir at the far post and she headed home past Brown.

And they were only denied a third by smart work from Brown off Jonsdottir.

But shortly before the end, Walker raced down the left and curled a lob over the keeper for the equaliser.

Links to more Football stories are at the foot of the page.


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