12 Jul 2011

England coach slams penalty cowards

6:13 am on 12 July 2011

England women's coach Hope Powell accused her players of "cowardice" after she struggled to find volunteers for the World Cup quarter-final penalty shoot-out against France.

The England women's team, mirroring the penalty failures of their male compatriots, lost the shoot-out in Leverkusen in what could be Powell's last match after 13 years in charge before she takes up a new position within the Football Association.

Claire Rafferty, a 22-year-old full-back who had come on after 80 minutes to make her World Cup debut, and Faye White missed the fourth and fifth penalties respectively to seal England's exit.

An angry Powell told the Guardian she had to ask three times before anyone stepped forward.

She said Rafferty was the first to put her hand up but other players should have come forward and they didn't, which was weak and cowardly.