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Page last updated at 21:39 GMT, Thursday, 2 October 2008 22:39 UK

Draw sees England reach Euro 2009

By Tony Leighton

Kelly Smith
Smith scored a superb solo goal

Kelly Smith's equaliser secured England a 2-2 draw against Spain and the point they needed to qualify for Euro 2009.

England were behind after just nine minutes when left winger Laura Del Rio crossed for right winger Veronica Boquete to volley home.

Fara Williams then hit the post for England before Sonia Bermudez's shot sent Spain 2-0 up at the interval.

But Karen Carney's low shot revived England's hopes and a deft 77th-minute finish from captain Smith made it 2-2.

"That was a really tough match," said national coach Hope Powell. "Spain are a very good side and I'm relieved that we're through.

"We knew they would come at us and we were nervous for the first 10 or 15 minutes, and even when we settled it was end to end.

"But at half-time we were very positive, the girls believed they could get the goals back and that's exactly what they did."

England ended the group stage unbeaten in their eight matches and having lost only one of their last 20 competitive outings.

As she looked ahead to next year's finals in Finland, Powell said: "I'm delighted we're through to another major tournament, it's a great boost for the women's game in England."


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