Thursday, 14 February 2008.
England 1-2 Germany
Under-23s Five Nations La Manga Tournament
4.30pm, 13 February 2008
La Manga, Spain
Having defeated USA on Monday, Brent Hills' England were narrowly beaten by Germany in a hard fought contest that saw chances at a premium for both sides.
In testing conditions - a hard, bumpy pitch and a strong wind which favoured Germany in the first half and England in the second - Germany just edged the tie.
Both teams had chances in the first half with Marie Hourihan making two excellent saves to keep the scores level.
In the second half England had the wind behind their backs and started brightly for the first fifteen minutes, pinning the Germans back, but were unable to fashion a real clear cut chance.
As the game became more open, Germany stepped up their game and broke the deadlock in the 70th minute.
From a wide free kick whipped in with pace, Lynda Shepherd got a final flick which saw the ball fly past Hourihan into her own net.
With their tails up, Germany added a second four minutes later, a good flowing move from own half ending with a low shot into the corner of Hourihan's goal.
England refused to give up, continued to press and with two minutes remaining, Shepherd followed up a spilled Dani Bird effort to set up a frantic end to the game.
Reflecting on the 90 minutes, Head Coach Brent Hills told TheFA.com: "We showed a good reaction to going behind and we laid siege for the last few minutes but Germany are an experienced side.
"We created a few openings in the first half without really threatening, which is something we can work on, but in games against the top two ranked countries in the world, we have been competitive and been able to give a lot of young players some invaluable experience."
England: 1 Marie Hourihan, 2 Nicole Emmanuel, 3 Sophie Perry, 4 Lynda Shepherd, 5 Kylie Davies, 6 Kate Holtham, 7 Ashlee Hincks (Katie Owen 70), 8 Amy Kane (Rachel Williams 61), 9 Gemma Davison (Rebecca Angus 57), 10 Dunia Susi, 11 Michelle Evans (Danni Bird 63)
Subs Not Used: 13 Helen Alderson, 15 Michelle Hickmott, 17 Emma Thomas
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images