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Shrewsbury to host play-off decider
 Women's Football News 26 Aug 2010
Shrewsbury to host play-off decider - 26 Aug 2010 - Women's Football NewsShrewsbury Town's Greenhous Meadow Stadium will host the home leg of England's crucial FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 qualifying play-off next month.
It will be the third time Shrewsbury have hosted Hope Powell's side in the last four years. Two months after reaching the last eight in the 2007 World Cup in China, England travelled to the then ProStar Stadium to play a UEFA Championship qualifier. The clash with Spain drew a crowd of 8,753 and Karen Carney's 65th minute goal won the points for the Three Lions. They were back there again for a friendly with Norway in April last year and beat one of the world's top teams 3-0 courtesy of a Lindsay Johnson header and a Fara Williams brace.
Hope will discover her side's play-off opponents on Monday 30 August (1pm BST) when the draw is made at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, though whether England will be seeded is dependent upon tonight's result between Denmark and Scotland. If Scotland avoid defeat in Vejle then England will be seeded, along with Norway, Sweden and France. However, if Denmark beat Scotland then the Scandinavians will be seeded.
Regardless of who England are pitted against, the first leg will take place on either 11 or 12 September and the second leg will be played on either 15 or 16 September. The dates for each of the four play-off matches will also be finalised on Monday.
The play-off winners will join hosts Germany in the World Cup Finals next June, while the losing nation will be required to negotiate a second play-off against a country from the CONCACAF region.
Further details will be confirmed upon completion of the draw on Monday, including ticket info and prices and kick off times.
"We are really looking forward to the play-offs," said Hope. "We ended our qualification group with a good display and a good victory in Austria at the weekend and the squad will be really focused for September.
"We know that only one part of the job is complete; we have to qualify for the World Cup and we will be doing everything we can to ensure we get there.
"Playing at Shrewsbury Town holds some great memories for myself and the players. We have got a good record at that ground and our last performance there against Norway was a great result in front of a big crowd so we are pleased to be going back to Shrewsbury for what is such a crucial game.
"We have two more matches to ensure we make it to Germany next year and it's imperative we get a good result at home. It would be fantastic to have a huge crowd who can get on our side and really inspire the players. I'm urging everyone to come down, bring the kids and get behind the team. "Hopefully we can put in a performance, send the fans home happy and get the result we need."
Shrewsbury Town's General Manager Jon Harris said: "It is a great honour for Shrewsbury Town FC to be asked to host the England Women's team for a third time.
"This game will be a very important one in England's push for the FIFA Women's World Cup Finals and it once again puts our club on the world stage.
"The two previous games that we have hosted have been a success for England on the pitch, with two wins so far, and also for Shrewsbury Town off the pitch. I am confident that this will be the case once again.
"We look forward to welcoming Hope and the squad to the Greenhous Meadow Stadium and we will be doing all we can to help support the team for this important encounter."
England qualified for the play-offs by topping Group 5, ahead of Spain, with seven wins and a draw from their eight matches.

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