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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 January 2007, 10:43 GMT
China experience pleases Powell
By Tony Leighton

England put pressure on Germany's goal
England ended a run of 15 straight defeats against Germany
England coach Hope Powell was pleased if not totally satisfied after seeing her team produce two highly significant results at the China Cup.

The tournament marked the start of England's build-up to September's World Cup, which is also being held in China.

It began disappointingly as England lost 2-0 to the host nation.

But they then pulled off two superb draws with the world's top-ranked teams, America and Germany, at the Guangzhou City Stadium.

Arsenal full-back Alex Scott's equaliser saw them finish 1-1 with the USA - the first time in seven outings England had avoided defeat against the number two ranked nation.

And in their final match of the four-nation tournament, a goalless draw with world champion's Germany ended one of international football's most unenviable records.

England had lost all 15 of their previous encounters with the Germans, so this result was a major breakthrough.

Powell said: "The results against the Americans and Germans will give us a massive boost psychologically.

We've gained some vital tournament experience against the world's best teams

England coach Hope Powell

"Neither side was at full strength, that should be pointed out, but you can only play what's put in front of you and we did really well in both games.

"We got it right tactically and, certainly against Germany, we were on the front foot from the first whistle and had chances to win the game.

"We had more of the possession and I felt that over the 90 minutes we were the better team."

Victory over Germany would not have flattered England, whose best chance was wasted by Arsenal winger Karen Carney in the last minute of the first half.

But at the final whistle the players were clearly delighted with a result that ended years of humiliation at the hands of their most feared opponents.

"The players are tired but happy after an exhausting tournament," said Powell at the end of a schedule of three matches in five days.

"Apart from the first half of our game against China," added the coach, "It's been very pleasing all round.

"The team has grown in stature, there's no doubt about that, but although we can be pleased we can't be satisfied - we now have to build on what we've achieved here.

"But we've gained some vital tournament experience against the world's best teams and in the environment we'll be playing in at the World Cup - that could be priceless."



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