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England's friendly double header
 Women's Football News 13 Feb 2009
England's friendly double header - 13 Feb 2009 - Women's Football NewsAs part of their preparations for Euro 2009, Hope Powell took her England side to Cyprus for a training camp where they played two friendlies against tournament hosts Finland.
The first match on 9 February ended in a 2-2 draw, though Hope Powell was disappointed with the scoreline after her charges had taken a 2-0 lead in the opening four minutes.
The second match pleased her more as The Three Lions ran out comfortable 4-1 winners.
After training for almost a week in Larnaca, England lined up for the first friendly and after just two minutes, Arsenal's Kelly Smith was felled in the box. She picked herself up and put England into the lead from the penalty spot.
Lianne Sanderson calmly doubled England's lead almost straight after the restart, before Finland pulled a goal back through Leena Puranen.
Finnish skipper, Anne Mäkinen, equalised shortly before half-time, with a great strike from distance leaving Carly Telford with little chance in the England goal. Though England pressed to regain the lead in the second half, they were unable to break down a resilient Finland outfit and the game finished all square.
The second game was a more cagey affair, with both defences on top in a tight opening 30 minutes. However, the game exploded into life five minutes before the break when Faye White headed home from a corner.
This was the first of three goals before half time as Emily Westwood and Smith - again from the penalty spot - put England in a commanding position.
Rachel Yankey grabbed a fourth ten minutes after the restart, but Finland did manage a consolation goal before the final whistle.
This result ensures England remain unbeaten since the World Cup in 2007 and the preparations for England's third appearance at a major Finals in five years are now well underway.
Next up for England will be an appearance at the Cyprus Women's Cup, which opens up on 1 March.
They will play at least three matches during their participation, opening up with group games against South Africa (5 March), France (7 March) and Scotland (10 March), with the Final taking place on 12 March.
This tournament will be followed by three home friendlies, all against fellow Euro 2009 qualifiers. Norway will be the visitors on 23 April before they take on Iceland and Denmark on 16 July and 22 July respectively. Venues for the three home friendlies are to be announced.

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