NORTHERN IRELAND manager Nigel Worthington accused his side of believing their own publicity after Slovakia took the honours with a 2-0 win at Windsor Park. Goals from Stanislav Sestak and substitute Filip Holosko either side of half-time saw the leaders cement their place at the top of Group Three. With Slovenia beating Poland, Northern Ireland slipped to third in the table after their first defeat at home in seven competitive games under. It means they will need to beat the Czech Republic in their final qualifier in Prague next month if they are to have any hope at all of making the play-offs. Northern Ireland went into the match buoyant after a draw in Poland and Worthington said: Nice things had been written and nice things said. You start believing you do not have to work as hard as you should. Thats garbage. We got our rewards - nothing. I feel gutted. If we had played for 90 minutes instead of 45 we would have taken something. 36 Thursday, 10 September 2009 London Lite LITESPORT Loss wasnt Worthy of any praise Gosh,Toshis stillchasinga topthreespot WALES manager John Toshack is clutching at the fleeting chance that his side could still snatch third spot in their group. The 3-1 defeat to Russia finally ended their mathematical hopes of qualifying for next summers finals. Toshack said: After all the trials and tribulations we have had in this group, and all the very bad luck with injuries and results, we still have the chance of catching Finland. If we can do that it will help our seeding in the next tournament. We must now aim to win both of our last two games and expect that Germany beat Finland next month. GROUP 3 P W D L F A PTS SLOVAKIA Q 8 6 1 1 21 8 19 SLOVENIA 8 4 2 2 13 4 14 N IRELAND 9 4 2 3 13 9 14 CZECH REP 8 3 3 2 15 6 12 POLAND 8 3 2 3 19 11 11 SAN MARINO 9 0 0 9 1 44 0 GROUP 4 P W D L F A PTS GERMANY 8 7 1 0 24 4 22 RUSSIA 8 7 0 1 18 4 21 FINLAND 8 4 2 2 11 12 14 WALES 8 3 0 5 6 10 9 LIECHTENSTEIN 8 0 2 6 2 19 2 AZERBAIJAN 8 0 1 7 1 13 1 N IRELAND ......... 0 SLOVAKIA .......... 2 LAST NIGHTS WALES ................1 RUSSIA............... 3 ENGLAND v GERMANY WOMENS EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL OLYMPIC ST, HELSINKI. LIVE ON BBC2 FROM 4.45PM (KO: 5.15PM) LATEST BETTING MATCH ODDS England 7-1, Germany 2-5, draw 4-1 MATCHFACTS SilviaNeidssquadhavepicked upfromwhereotherGerman teamsofthepasthaveleftoffin thiscompetition,stretchingtheir unbeatenrecordintheUEFA EuropeanWomensChampionship, includingqualifying,to46 matches,or,tolookatitanother way,toashadeover13years. Englandhaveonlyavoided defeattwicein18meetingswith Germanyandneverwon. KEY PLAYERS KELLY SMITH ENGLAND SMITH needed a cortisone injection in her right knee shortly before the tournament and has been dogged for three months with an injury that will only heal with rest. Smith, who now plays in America, has not been at her best so far -- lets hope she is saving her best for the Germans. INKA GRINGS GERMANY THE striker is on course to win the tournaments golden boot award after scoring four goals in five appearances going into the final, one more than team-mate Fatmire Bajramaj and Englands Eniola Aluko. The FCR Duisburg forward, 30, holds the Bundesliga record of scoring 38 goals in a season. ENGLAND 4-2-3-1 GERMANY 4-4-1-1 BrownA Scott Stoney Asante K Smith Williams Brown Grings Prinz Krahn Peter Schmidt Aluko S Smith Angerer Garefrekes POSSIBLE LINE-UPS Chapman Girls allowed to dream of an historic English victory Beat Germany? Thats a big mask for Faye... RACHEL BROWN believes Eng- lands women can achieve the unthinkable tonight -- and beat unbeatable Germany to win the European Championship final in Helsinki. After the mens uplifting 5-1 win over Croatia at Wembley last night, the nation will switch to BBC2 tonight to witness the biggest 90 minutes in the history of English womens football. Everton shot-stopper Brown, 29, who made her debut against the Germans 12 years ago, said: It has been made evident to us the history we are creating but we dont want to get too carried away with that. We want to focus on the task at hand. We want to make history by win- ning a tournament rather than get- ting to the latter stages of one. As an international team we are probably at the best standard we have ever been. We are looking to compete at this level, to be in finals in the future. Hopefully this is one of many. Brown has seen at first hand the improvements made by coach Hope Powell, who as well as running the nationalsidehasrevampedmuchof the domestic structure since her appointment in 1998. The strategy put in place 10 years ago is starting to pay dividends, Brown said. To have been involved in that whole process of change has been fantastic. But forget the optimism for a moment and look at the facts: Germany have won the last two womens World Cups and six of the last seven European Championships. They have beaten England in 16 of their 18 meetings, with the othertwogamesbeing goalless draws. England have not played in a major final sincefinishingrunners- up in the inaugural European Champion- ship 25 years ago. Undaunted, Brown insists: We respect the Germany team hugely, they are the No1 team in the world and have been for years. Ithinkwewill need our best performance, fromeveryoneinevery department. We need to play to our utmost potential to produce a performance to win the tournament. We havent done that so far but hopefully the fine detail we have been looking at we can chisel down and produce a refined performance. This is my third European Championships and hopefully it will be third time lucky. Brown is keeping her glove story alive BY NEAL COLLINS FAYE WHITE should start tonights final in Helsinki despite dislocating and fracturing a cheekbone in the quarter-final win over Finland last week. The 31-year-old defender (right) had surgery in England and trained last night wearing a protective mask that she has permission to wear against Germany. England coach Hope Powell said: Fayes good. Shes got a mask which has been approved by the referees, so fingers crossed. Weve just got to check it is comfortable. She has been wearing it all day to make sure she is happy with it -- and she is more than happy. aforoptimismtheforgetBut moment and look at the facts: twolastthewonhaveGermany ofsixandCupsWorldwomens Europeansevenlastthe Championships. beatenhaveThey theirofEngland in 16 18 meetings, with the beinggamestwoother nothaveEngland nalplayed in a major fi runners-nishingfisince inauguraltheinup Champion-European ship 25 years ago. BrownUndaunted, respectWeinsists: teamGermanythe hugely, they are the theinteamNo1 haveandworld willwethinkI bestourneed everyineveryonefrom department. We need to play to our utmost potential to produce thewintoperformancea tournament. We havent done that so far ne detail webut hopefully the fi canweatlookingbeenhave aproduceanddownchisel ned performance.refi This is my third European Championships and hopefully it will be third time lucky. Golden girl: Kelly Smith hurdles a Russian tackle during the 3-2 win over Russia last week Bartusiak Our saving grace: England and Everton goalkeeper Rachel Brown is hands on Asante Carney White KuligBehringer Bresonik index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html