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England 2-2 France

By Tony Leighton

England manager Hope Powell
Powell's side play Scotland next in their final group game

Karen Carney and Casey Stoney were the scorers as England twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with France in the second of their Cyprus Cup group games.

Two days after beating South Africa 6-0 in their opening group game, Hope Powell's team had the upper hand for long periods but could not find a winner.

And they almost lost the game in stoppage time, when French substitute Gaetane Thiney hit the bar.

National coach Powell said: "It was very disappointing not to win because we were the better side for practically the whole of the game.

"We were a bit nervous early on and that cost us, because if we'd been as dominant in the first half as we were in the second then we could have come out winners."

France took the lead in the 15th minute through a 10-yard shot by midfielder Corine Franco after left winger Elise Bussaglia's long range effort had struck the post.

Right winger Elodie Thomis almost doubled the French advantage with a 23rd-minute lob that bounced off the crossbar.

England hit back strongly, however, and a neat run and pass by Kelly Smith led to right winger Carney hitting the equaliser.

Sue Smith should have edged England ahead seven minutes before half-time, but the she sent a 15-yard volley straight at goalkeeper Celine Deville.

England took control after the break, but they were unable to create clear-cut chances and paid the price when Thomis broke clear to score France's second goal in the 72nd minute.

Three minutes later though, the scores were level again when Carney swung in a corner and Stoney stabbed home from close range.

As England pushed for a winner Carney had a 77th-minute effort brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Celine Deville.

But at the other end keeper Rachel Brown had to make a great last minute save from Franco before Thiney's stoppage time-effort hit the bar.

England now face Scotland in their last group game on Tuesday and Powell said: "We'll go out to win as well as we can and hopefully top the group and get into the final."

England (4-2-1-3) : Brown (Everton); Johnson (Everton) (A. Scott (Boston Breakers) HT), Asante (New York Sky Blue), Houghton (Leeds Carnegie), Stoney (Chelsea); J. Scott (Everton), Williams (Everton); Carney (Chicago Red Stars), Westwood (Everton) (Chapman (Arsenal) 68), S. Smith (Leeds Carnegie); K. Smith (Boston Breakers) (Aluko (St Louis Athletica) 56).

France (4-2-3-1) : Deville; Blanc, Georges (Thiney 73), Viguier, Diguelman; Franco, Soubeyrand; Thomis, Necib, Bussaglia (Le Sommer HT); Herbert (Tonazzi 73).

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see also
England 6-0 South Africa
06 Mar 09 |  Women

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