It's World Cup agony. This time for England's women
Hope Powell's battlers go out in worst way to spark memories of men's shoot-out exits
Sunday 10 July 2011
For Chris Waddle and David Batty read Claire Rafferty and Faye White, who last night became the latest names to be added to England'sfamiliar roster of heartbroken World Cup penalty takers.
Both missed from the spot in yesterday's quarter-final shoot-out with France after a 1-1 draw. Just as the men had fallen in 1990, 1998 and 2006 so the women went out in the cruellest possible way, leaving many in tears as France triumphed 4-3.
Disappointment was particularlyacute for England's captain White, for whom this was her final World Cup game. She hit the crossbar with the final penalty after Rafferty had missed to the goalkeeper's left. Both players looked shattered at the end in scenes eerily reminiscent of Waddle and Stuart Pearce in 1990 and Batty in 1998.
Afterwards England manager Hope Powell – who hinted she would step down – paid tribute to her players, who had come within three minutes of outright victory in normal time.
"It was a gallant effort," said Powell. "Our games have been tough and we were dead on our feet at the end. I am very proud of my players. They did their very best to take it to the wire. Unfortunately when it came down to penalties, you just had to applaud France."
England goalscorer Jill Scott added: "We've been practising penalties a lot, but you can't practise taking a penalty in a quarter-final."
It should never have gone that far. England had taken the lead through Scott in the second half. But with a place in the semi-finals beckoning, France's Elise Bussaglia equalised to send the game into extra time.
England also took the lead in the shoot-out when Karen Bardsley brilliantly saved Camille Abily's first spot-kick. It was an advantage Powell's side held until Rafferty and White missed their successive kicks.
England had lost both their previous shoot-outs: to Sweden in the 1984 European Championship final and to China at the 2005 Algarve Cup.
Latest in Sport
Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt: Examining the Impact of 'Taker's WWE WrestleMania return
Arsenal vs Monaco: Theo Walcott 'involved in spat' with fans after Champions League defeat
It's time to stop the 'small club' jibes after Chelsea signed £200m Yokohama deal
Paul Scholes: Jose Mourinho's attempt to influence football's decision-makers is not working. In fact, it may have backfired
After record-breaking £5.136bn Premier League TV deal, why are Everton the only British club to win in Europe?
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer