Women's Football: World Cup - England 2 Japan 0
Published: 7 July, 2011
by CATHERINE ETOE
ENGLAND fans were treated to an Arsenal masterclass on Tuesday night as Gunners Ellen White and Rachel Yankey both scored against Japan to put Hope Powell’s team into the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
Five former Arsenal players - including four of the Gunners’ 2007 Women’s UEFA Cup winners - lined up for the Three Lionesses in the Group B clash in front of 20,777 fans in Augsburg.
Arsenal striker White, making only her second ever start at a World Cup, proved a worthy addition to the side when she got her country off the mark after just 15 minutes.
The 22-year-old, who was given a full run out in the tricky 2-1 win over New Zealand on Friday, showed maturity beyond her years when she lobbed Japan keeper Ayumi Kaihori to put England 1-0 up.
It was a fine goal that left the keeper clutching at thin air and White’s club and country colleague Yankey told us it could not have come at a better time. “I told Ellen I thought she was going to score. She set us up beautifully with the first goal. It gave everyone a lift and from there we grabbed the momentum.”
Having watched the first half from the substitutes’ bench, former Hampstead School pupil Yankey then came on to the pitch at the restart and made an immediate impact.
The 31-year-old finished clinically beyond Kaihori to make it 2-0 midway through the second half and she celebrated her first World Cup goal with gusto.
“Everyone likes scoring goals especially in a World Cup - I’ve never done that before,” she added. “It was great to come on at half time, it was hard to get into the game but the goal made it that much easier. I’m really proud of Ellen and for me to come on and score doubles it up for Arsenal.”
England survived a fresh onslaught from Japan as the clock ticked down but Powell’s side held on to take three points, finish top of their group and book a quarter final against France.
“We go in confident and take a lot of pride from this performance and previous performances,” added Yankey.