Girl power as GB win first football medal

By Danny Caro, July 11, 2011

Goals from Sara Lyons, Samantha Miller and Michaela Green saw GB Ladies claim their first-ever Open football medal as they overcame Germany 3-1 on Monday afternoon.

With the USA having run away with the competition, GB went head to head with the Germans in what was effectively a playoff for silver. The loser would go home empty-handed.

Brad Solomons’ troops got off to the perfect start when the impressive Samantha Miller forced the Germans to concede a penalty. Sara Lyons stepped up to blast the spot-kick into the roof of the net inside the opening two minutes.

GB were in dreamland after 18 minutes. Miller was having lots of joy down the right flank and she doubled the lead when a cross-shot sailed into the top corner.

The Germans pulled one back midway through the second half but a sliderule pass from captain Tamar Koch released supersub Michaela Green who produced a cool finish into the bottom corner.

A delighted Brad Solomon told JC Sport: “I’ve been in football long enough to know that it isn’t always about the performance. To win our first medal in only our second tournament makes this a very proud moment.

“The girls deserve full credit as they put their bodies on the line. Germany came here to kick us today and we lost our shape a bit but came through in the end.

“We came out here with one third of our squad being Under 16. That’s unheard of. You must remember that Michaela Green is only just 16 and has only just finished her GCSE’s.

“The players have been committed to a fitness regime and tactical work and I was brimming with pride following yesterday’s performance against America. That was our FA Cup final at Wembley.

“I have been involved in Jewish women’s football for 14 years and I’ve never felt so proud about a group of players that we not my family.

“The aim now is to keep this group of players together for the next two years. It’s a great development opportunity and when we go to the Maccabiah, we will go to Israel with the respect of being winners. This has never happened before.”

GB captain Tamar Koch said: “To win silver feels amazing. It’s a brilliant achievement.

“It’s a result of a few years of hard slog from every player. All the time and work put in by the manager and coach has paid off and our improvement has been 100-fold.

“We played as a team, as a unit, and tried to play for each other, not as individuals.

“It was sweet to beat Germany twice although today’s victory was not as resounding as the first. The main thing is that we won.”

Last updated: 10:46pm, July 11 2011