Women’s Euro 2017: England boss Mark Sampson targets title after France win

General News of Monday, 31 July 2017

Source: bbc.com

2017-07-31

play videoThe Lionesses beat France to reach the last four, where they will face the Netherlands on Thursday

Manager Mark Sampson said he was “proud” to make history after England reached a second consecutive major tournament semi-final – then challenged his team to win Women’s Euro 2017.

The Lionesses beat France 1-0 to reach the last four, where they will face hosts the Netherlands on Thursday.

Sampson is the first England manager since Sir Alf Ramsey in 1968 to reach consecutive semi-finals.

“We want to go two steps further,” the Welshman told BBC Sport.

Sampson, who took over from Hope Powell in 2013, led England to a third-place finish at the 2015 World Cup.

This is the first time they have reached the last four at successive tournaments.

“For the team, we are consistently making history with our performances and results,” said Sampson.

“We have excited the English public. It has been a long time since the country had a team they can believe in in terms of winning a major tournament.

“But there are four fantastic teams left in the competition. Now we have to make that next step and get into our first final together.”

England have reached the last four at the Euros on four previous occasions, most recently in 2009, when they were beaten by Germany in the final.

Jodie Taylor’s goal – her fifth of the tournament – earned England a first win over France in 43 years in Deventer on Sunday.

In England’s opening group match against Scotland, the 31-year-old Arsenal striker joined Sir Geoff Hurst and Gary Lineker in becoming the only England players to score hat-tricks at major tournaments.

Sampson said: “This is not luck. This is not just down to ability. Jodie has an obsession with scoring goals and we are so, so proud of her.

“She puts so much work in for the team too. We are very fortunate to have her.”

The Netherlands have enjoyed fervent support on home soil – all their group games were sold out and their opening match was watched by 21,731 fans, a national record.

The average attendance for group games was just over 6,000, while England’s win over France drew an attendance of 6,283.

“I can’t wait for the semi,” said Taylor. “We have said all along that we wanted to play the Netherlands. We relish it.”

Forward Toni Duggan was relieved to see England end their wait for a victory over France.

Goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain celebrated keeping a clean sheet after coming on a a substitute.

Wayne Rooney, record goalscorer for England’s men’s team, congratulated the Lionesses at full-time.

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