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England hopeful of World Cup progression

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Whilst many football fans are preparing for the forthcoming season, England’s women have been chasing glory at the World Cup, reaching the quarter final stages of the competition. They meet France having topped their group in the earlier rounds. However, unlike their male counterparts who lost out to Germany in last year’s first knock out stage, the women will manage to avoid meeting Germany until the later stages of the competition, providing they progress.

Germany are favourites to win the tournament which started at the end of June, and are hoping to achieve a record three consecutive World Cup wins as the host nation. Nevertheless, England are just one of the teams vying to snatch victory from them. If England’s quarter final goes in their favour and Germany beat Japan, as predicted, then this will set up an exciting Semi- Final clash between the two teams.

England have already met Japan in the final fixture of the group stages in which they battled through to win 2-0 despite knowing they could have gone through without a win. England were under some pressure to perform, having been criticised for what were considered earlier under par performances. Victory over Japan included a spectacular lobbed goal by Ellen White and substitute Rachel Yankey completed the win. In contrast, England’s opponents have already played Germany in the group stages, losing 4-2.

Although not household names, some of England’s iconic stars have endured the heart ache of being defeated by Germany, losing 6-2 in the Euro 2009 final in Finland. Players such as Kelly Smith and Jill Scott who were part of the team will be hoping to go one step further in this competition and take the title. England’s coach, Hope Powell stressed that the team’s main aim was to get through the group stages but surely will not compromise the chance of victory in the next stages.

For some players, such as Kelly Smith, 32 it could be the last time she sports England colours in a World Cup. A prolific goal scorer for both her country and Arsenal Ladies until 2009 , Smith has made over 100 appearances scoring over 40 goals in her international career. However, she may decide to hang up her boots before England endeavour to qualify for the 2015 World Cup in Canada and Euro 2013 in Sweden.

Having never won a World Cup and losing out in the Quarter Final of the 2007 competition, England’s women will hope they can make headlines with success in their forthcoming fixtures.

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