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  Sunday, 24 June, 2001, 22:35 GMT 23:35 UK
Hope happy with Russia draw
Hope Powell
Powell: happy with a point
England coach Hope Powell said she was satisfied with her team's opening 1-1 draw with Russia in the women's European Championship in Germany.

Defeat would have ended any hopes of qualifying for the semi-final stages and Powell admitted she was content with a point.

"It was a game we really didn't want to lose and we've come away with a point, we're not bottom of the group so I am pleased.

"The conditions didn't suit our girls too well but they kept going and got a great goal just before half-time which set us up quite nicely.

"But credit to Russia for coming back."


I think it was a good performance and coming out with a draw against Russia you can't ask for more
Angela Banks
Powell is convinced her team can improve on the draw and blamed nerves for a shaky first 20 minutes.

"I believe we can play better and I think they believe they can play better," Powell said.

"I think we were quite apprehensive certainly in the first 15-20 minutes and we looked a bit cagey and played a bit more negative than we usually do.

"But as I've said we've come out with a point and we're just looking forward to the next game.

Banks was also delighted to have scored a point on their first match of the tournament - but insisted there was more to come.

She said: "I think it was a good performance and coming out with a draw against Russia you can't ask for more.

"Obviously we didn't want to lose so to come away with a point we've to look at it as a good start.

"There is a lot more we can do. It was the first game, a lot of nerves and everyone played slightly different than normal.

"But hopefully in the next game we'll go with a bit more confidence and play to the ability we know we can."

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BBC Sport's Peter Lansley
"England can have no complaints about being pulled back for a draw"

Final

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