Football: Smisek sinks England women

By Mike Rowbottom

England 0 Germany 1

NOT for the first time, English footballing ambition was thwarted by Germany yesterday.

England women's chances of reaching next year's World Cup finals in the United States were drastically reduced by this defeat at the New Den. It could not have been narrower - on paper at least - but the fact remained that it was the 10th consecutive time they had been beaten by the four- times European champions.

England's inexperienced players now face a huge task if they are to emulate their male counterparts. Two of their three remaining qualifying matches are against the world champions, Norway, and they need at least one win to claim one of the two top places.

Ted Copeland, England's coach, conceded as much afterwards. "Today was a major disappointment for us," he said. "There is still a chance of getting the second qualifying place, but it is going to be tough for us."

Despite Germany's history of success, Copeland maintained that his young team - at one stage they had five teenagers on the field - had gone into this Group Three match with positive intent.

"Before the game we felt as though we could beat them," he said. The game plan was to pressurise a side weakened by injuries and try to score an early goal.

The game plan failed. For all their patient efforts, England only produced two shots on goal in the entire 90 minutes, through long-range efforts from Hope Powell and and Genevieve Murphy, a Millwall Lioness on her own patch. In truth, neither shot was a major problem for the German keeper, Claudia Von Lanken.

But the Germans, who looked fitter and better co-ordinated overall, did look seriously discomposed throughout by the performance of Kelly Smith, the 19-year-old who has been making a name for herself in the first year of a football scholarship in New Jersey.

Smith, who played for Arsenal before her departure for the US, was intelligent in everything she did. Sadly, her colleagues were not able to match her on too many occasions. Her contribution was summed up by the daring run which took her past two defenders late in the first half. Her driven cross was parried into the area by the keeper - but no one was supporting her.

The decisive goal came after 31 minutes when Sandra Smisek - unmarked - drove home a loose ball after Germany's impressive centre-forward, Birgit Prinz, had drawn England's defensive cover and been brought down by a challenge, which might have earned her a penalty.

Rachel Brown, making her first home start for England, failed in her attempt to tip the ball over the bar, although she made up for it in the second half by diving at the feet of Martina Voss to prevent what seemed sure to be a second goal.

ENGLAND (3-5-2): Brown (Liverpool); White (Arsenal), Marley (Everton), Britton (Croydon); Burke (Everton), Murphy (Millwall), Coultard (Doncaster Belles), Powell (Croydon), S Smith (Tranmere); Davis (Croydon), K Smith (Seton Hall, US). Substitutes used: Garside (Bradford) for Marly, h-t; Utley (Doncaster) for Powell, 82; Easton (Croydon) for Davis, 20. Substitutes not used: Cope (Millwall, gk), Catterall (Liverpool), Massey (Stockport), Exley (Doncaster).

GERMANY (3-5-2): Von Lanken; Stegemann, Jones, Hoffmann; Hingst (Grings, 86), Fitschen, Voss, Minnert, Prinz; Smisek (Meyer, 60), Gottschlich (Lingor, h-t).

Referee: E Odlund (Swe).

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
News
people
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches