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Page last updated at 18:53 GMT, Thursday, 10 September 2009 19:53 UK

Powell proud despite losing final

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Powell predicts bright future for England

Manager Hope Powell was happy with the way England took the game to Germany despite losing the Euro 2009 final.

England went down 6-2 in their first European final for 25 years, but Powell's side pushed the world champions hard before tiring late on.

"We still went out to win, even at 6-2 down. We still wanted to attack and we have to applaud that," Powell said.

"I think this will make the girls hungrier next time and one day it will be our day."

England, who have not beaten Germany in 19 ties, were always behind and despite pulling goals back to make it 2-1 and 3-2, their ruthless opponents - who have now won this tournament five times in a row - were simply too strong.

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The 42-year-old Powell, who was appointed to the role in June 1998, added: "The scoreline sounds like a walloping but I don't think it was.

"We started very brightly and we still believed we were in it at 3-2. I truly believe Germany feel they were in a game.

"We're happy with what we have achieved in reaching the final but not satisfied.

"We played well in patches but they moved the ball very quickly and that is a lesson for us. We will now go back, work harder and come back."

Skipper Faye White, who played in a mask after dislocating and fracturing a cheekbone in the quarter-finals, said: "People didn't think we'd get to the final so the girls should hold their heads high.

Kelly Smith
Kelly Smith (right) was a driving force for England against the Germans

"We know Germany are clinical and they were just better than us today. But I'm really proud of the team."

England's last final appearance was in 1984 - a match Powell played in - and Arsenal defender White says the experience will stand the players in good stead.

"This is the first time this team has been to a final and we wanted to win, but Germany have got more experience than us," said the 31-year-old.

"They know how to handle a big occasion and they dug deep in the last half hour to pull away from us, we just couldn't get them back.

"If you give them a chance they will put it in the back of the net and that's what they did."

Goalkeeper Rachel Brown admitted the Germans were just too strong for an England side that needed extra-time to beat the Netherlands in their semi-final on Sunday.

White proud despite final defeat

"They were very clinical when they got the opportunity," she said. "If we'd done the same, it might have been a closer game.

"We have come back from goals down before and we thought we could do it again, but we made basic errors and they made the most of it, so credit to them.

"We created chances, no-one can say we didn't do that, we never stopped attacking right up until the 90th minute."

German coach Silvia Neid admitted England had made life tough before her side secured victory - their seventh European title in eight attempts.

"Two very good teams made it a really good final and the game went up and down," Neid said.

"I thought England could have got back into the game, even at 4-2 down. I only felt confident at 5-2 when England started to look tired and we were still enthusiastic."

Player of the match Inka Grings, who has now won the golden boot in two successive Euro tournaments, added: "I am very happy with the awards but don't forget the team.

"With team-mates like this you will always look good and it is just a beautiful night."



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see also
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Finland women 2-3 England women
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England women make quarter-finals
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England Women 1-2 Italy Women
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