ENGLAND WOMEN’S football manager Hope Powell heaped congratulations upon her players after their 2-0 win over Japan saw them top Group B and gain a place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
Goals either side of half-time from Ellen White and Rachel Yankey ensured that the Three Lionesses will now face France at the BayArena in Leverkusen in the knockout stages on Friday.
Speaking to BBC Sport after the game, an elated Powell said:
"We had a game plan, the girls implemented it, we've topped the group and it can only increase our confidence. We were very, very good and I'm so proud of how well the girls played."
"The ambition was to get out of the group. We're still in the competition, we're not going home and that is brilliant for England.
In their previous World Cup fixtures England drew 1-1 with Mexico and defeated New Zealand 2-1.
"We made some changes to the team and they worked out, but we always knew it was going to be a squad game,” continued Powell.
“Our opponents from now on doesn't matter.”
Powell, 44, previously told the Voice of Sport: “It is a tough tournament. Our ambition is to make it out of the group or we are coming home.
“I want the players to give a good account of themselves and show the rest of the world that England have progressed. Hopefully we will be in the tournament for the long haul.”