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Page last updated at 18:01 GMT, Tuesday, 10 March 2009

England 3-0 Scotland

By Tony Leighton

Hope Powell
Powell was in the England team that lost the Euro '84 final to Sweden

England reached their first final for 25 years as a 3-0 win against Scotland earned Hope Powell's team a meeting with Canada in Thursday's Cyprus Cup final.

National coach Powell was a midfielder in the team that lost the 1984 European Championship final to Sweden.

Now she is on the brink of lifting a trophy after goals by Eni Aluko, Emily Westwood and Jess Clarke in Larnaca ensured England of finishing top of Group A.

Canada, one place lower than England at 11th in the world rankings, were meanwhile beating Russia 2-0 to win Group B.

Powell said: "Finals are what you plan and prepare for, so for this England team to actually reach one for the first time is very pleasing.

"The experience of getting to and then playing in a final can only be good for the team's development, as will playing against Canada.

"They're a big team, they're physically very strong and last time we played them they beat us 4-0. So it's going to be a real test."

Powell's team should approach the final with confidence after comfortable group wins against South Africa and Scotland plus a 2-2 draw with eighth-ranked France.

They were in control throughout against Scotland, though they almost went behind when striker Pauline Hamill's 12th-minute shot bounced clear off defender Lindsay Johnson.

At the other end three minutes later, left winger Rachel Yankey sent a 15-yard drive narrowly over the bar.

Aluko should have opened the scoring just after the half-hour, shooting straight at goalkeeper Gemma Fay from a good position.

But the striker made no mistake five minutes before the interval, turning Yankey's low cross into the net from close range.

Midfielder Dani Buet, making her first England start, went close to increasing the lead with a 15-yard effort straight after the interval.

The 20-year-old midfielder then played a key role in the 66th-minute second goal, racing clear on the right to cross for Westwood to head home.

And seven minutes from time right winger Clarke, like Buet making her full debut, took advantage of a defensive error to slide in the final goal.

Powell said: "It took us a bit of time to settle and we were a bit naive at times, but we controlled most of the game and the important thing was that we got the result."

Scotland coach Anna Signeul said: "We were run over the first 20 minutes, then just when we had started to get composed we lost the first goal.

"The result was obviously disappointing, but we are a young squad with a lot to learn and at the moment we are lacking physique and fitness compared to England."

Scotland (4-1-4-1) : Fay (Hibernian); Jones (Hibernian) (Brown (Hibernian) 89), Corsie (Glasgow City), Dieke (Chicago Red Stars) (Thomson (Hibernian) 89), Beattie (Celtic) (McBride (Hibernian) 79); Sneddon (Glasgow City) (McDonald (FC Kilmarnock) 89); Grant (Arsenal), L. Ross (Glasgow City), Little (Arsenal), Love (Celtic); Hamill (Celtic) (J. Ross (Glasgow City) HT).

England (4-2-3-1) : Chamberlain (Chelsea); A. Scott (Boston Breakers), Johnson (Everton), Yorston (Bristol Academy), Unitt (Everton); Chapman (Arsenal), Buet (Chelsea); Clarke (Leeds Carnegie), Westwood (Everton), Yankey (Arsenal); Aluko (St Louis Athletica) (Sanderson (Chelsea) 82).

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see also
England 2-2 France
07 Mar 09 |  Women
England 6-0 South Africa
06 Mar 09 |  Women

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