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Page last updated at 22:27 GMT, Saturday, 19 June 2010 23:27 UK

Spain 2-2 England

By Tony Leighton

Faye White
White won the league title with her club side Arsenal in May

England women drew with Spain to move within touching distance of a place in the play-offs for the 2011 World Cup.

Hope Powell's team recovered from a two-goal deficit thanks to late goals by Rachel Unitt and captain Faye White.

Adriana Martin put Spain ahead with a low drive and Sonia Bermudez added a second after the break.

But left-back Unitt pulled one back late-on with a cross that fooled keeper Ainhoa Tirapu and skipper White levelled at the death.

England now need to win one of their final two group games - against minnows Turkey and Austria - to top the group.

After the match in Aranda de Duero, manager Powell said: "In the first-half we were shocking, we were on the back foot and had to claw our way back."

Incredibly, England had done exactly the same to draw 2-2 in Zamora in 2008 to qualify for last year's European Championship, at which they reached the final before losing to Germany.

"There was a lot more fight in the second-half and I was pleased with the players' application," added Powell, "but we cut it fine and our goals were lucky.


"If you can play as badly as we did in the first-half and still come out with a result though, I'll take it - but I'm not happy with the overall performance."

England went behind after 16 minutes, the defence failing to clear Elisabeth Ibarra's corner and Martin pouncing to score.

Powell's team were quick to respond but, despite gaining plenty of possession, they were unable to create any clear-cut openings.

Striker Kelly Smith, midfielder Fara Williams and winger Rachel Yankey all missed the target with long range first-half efforts.

They were beginning to take control towards the interval, however, and a substitution immediately after the break by Powell almost paid rapid dividends.

Rachel Unitt
Unitt won the FA Cup with Everton in May

Right-winger Karen Carney swung over a 55th minute corner and substitute Jill Scott, on for Yankey, powered in a header that left-back Sonia Vesga cleared off the line.

England continued to press but were dealt a massive blow when they were caught on the break for Spain to double their lead in the 67th minute.

Adriana lofted a through ball into the path of midfielder Bermudez, who shrugged off the challenge of right back Alex Scott to hook a 15 yard shot into the roof of the net.

Defeat looked almost inevitable until Unitt pulled a goal back with a deep 78th minute cross that fooled goalkeeper Tirapu to drop into the net.

And two minutes from time White grabbed the vital equaliser, stabbing a 12 yard shot over Tirapu from Alex Scott's through-ball.

Teams: Spain (4-1-4-1): Tirapu; Torrejon (Olabarrieta 46), De Ona, Garcia, Vesga; Vilanova; Boquete, Vazquez (Meseguer 62), Bermudez (Losada 82), Ibarra; Martin.

England (4-2-3-1): Brown (Everton); A. Scott (Boston Breakers), F. White (Arsenal), Stoney (Chelsea), Unitt (Everton); Williams (Everton), Chapman (Chicago Red Stars); Carney (Chicago Red Stars), Smith (Boston Breakers), Yankey (Arsenal) (J. Scott (Everton) 46); Aluko (Atlanta Beat) (E. White (Leeds Carnegie 73).

Referee: Ms J. Palmqvist (Sweden)

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see also
Powell eyes keeping 100% record
13 Jun 10 |  Women
England women thrash sorry Malta
20 May 10 |  Women
England's women have Walsall date
14 May 10 |  Women
England women 1-0 Spain women
01 Apr 10 |  Women
England women brush aside Austria
22 Mar 10 |  Women
Turkey 0-3 England
26 Nov 09 |  Women
England 8-0 Malta
25 Oct 09 |  Women
England 2-6 Germany
10 Sep 09 |  Women

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