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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 September 2007, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK
Powell says England in good heart
England coach Hope Powell
Powell remains upbeat after being denied victory against Japan
Coach Hope Powell believes England can go into their next match against Women's World Cup favourites Germany in confident mood.

Japan's last-gasp equaliser denied England an opening win, but Powell has no fears of Germany, who rattled in 11 goals in their opener.

Powell said: "We want to beat Germany, we have never beaten them before, so why not now.

"I'll have no problems raising the players to play Germany."

Kelly Smith was left frustrated after her double-strike only brought England a point but she is sure her team-mates can bounce back.

"We were so close," Smith told BBC Sport. "Japan scored with the last kick of the game so it is devastating for us.

It is 12 years since we were on the big stage. We showed a lot of character and I am proud of all my team-mates

Kelly Smith

"I thought we had definitely won it - there were just 30 seconds to go."

"But we had showed a lot of character coming back from 1-0 down and scoring two goals.

"We thought we could nick it. It wasn't to be but we can still take a lot of heart from that performance and we have to move on now."

Both of Japan's goals came from free-kicks and Smith feels that is an area that England must improve in.

"We have to learn from that," she added. "We gave two sloppy fouls away and, with quality players like Japan have, they are going to put the ball in the back of the net."

Despite the disappointment of seeing points dropped, Smith could take positives from England's first game in the World Cup finals since 1995.


"Its been a long time coming," Smith explained. "It is 12 years since we were on the big stage. We showed a lot of character and I am proud of all my team-mates, especially the girls on the bench who came on.

"We've got Germany next and we look forward to playing them on Friday. We wanted three points tonight and we would like to win that game too, we can't lose it."

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