She provides game-winning assist as England tops Netherlands
Through 120 minutes of battle, Chicago Red Stars midfielder Karen Carney and England defeated the Netherlands, 2-1, on Sunday to advance to the championship of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2009. It marks the first time England has reached the title game since losing the inaugural European Championships in penalty kicks against Sweden in 1984.
In the 116th minute, Carney provided the game-winning assist with a corner kick from the right side. Carney’s precise cross found Jill Scott, who headed the ball past Dutch goalkeeper Loes Geurts and two defenders standing on each side of Geurts at the goal line.
England had the clear edge in possession, but the Netherlands kept hanging around to the point where it appeared the match would eventually get to a penalty kick shootout. But toward the end of the added 30-minute session, Carney and Scott made sure the match would not get to that stage.
Carney did not start the match, surprisingly. But she was brought in as a second-half substitution for Sue Smith.
“The Holland fullbacks are very physical,” England head coach Hope Powell said. “And I wanted Jess (Clarke) to run them a bit and then bring Karen on.”
Kelly Smith gave England a 1-0 lead in the 61st minute, and Holland quickly tied up the score at 1-all just 3 minutes later with a Marlous Pieete goal.
Carney’s Euro 2009 continues this Thursday in the championship, where England will face either Germany or Norway in the final. Germany and Norway battle in their semifinal match on Monday.