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Three Lionesses hit back at Powell

OPINION: Powell

A NUMBER of the England women’s football team are in disagreement with manager Hope Powell after she accused players of “cowardice” for not taking penalties in the quarter-final loss to France.

With the scores level at 1-1 after extra-time on Saturday (July 9), the match would be decided on penalties which the Three Lionesses lost 4-3.

After the match had ended Powell criticised players who did not volunteer to take a penalty.

"Three times I had to ask [for volunteers] before anyone stepped forward," said Powell.

"'Where are you?' I was thinking, and then a young kid [22-year-old Claire Rafferty] is the first to put her hand up. And Kelly Smith was dying on her feet but she stepped up and took one. You've got to want to take a penalty, but other players should have come forward and they didn't. That's weak, it's cowardice."

However, various players disagreed with Powell’s claims.

Forward Eniola Aluko said via Twitter: ‘Obviously the saying you win and lose as a TEAM is just words. Unbelievable.’

Casey Stoney, who converted a penalty during the shootout, added:

"I don't think anyone's a coward and that's not the impression I got from Hope when she debriefed us after the game. She said she was very proud and we should hold our heads up high."

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