England Women will face a tough test in the Quarter Finals of the Women's World Cup in China when they come up against the improving United States who beat Nigeria 1-0 to top Group B.
The US scored with a flukey deflection in the first minute through Lori Chalupny, 34-24-36, and then hung on for the remaining 89 minutes as the Africans laid siege to the American goal.
The England team finished second in their group behind tournament favourites Germany, and remain unbeaten, though probably not for very long.
England manager Hopeless Powell knows that the US team will present an enormous obstacle to her charges, particularly with their manly physiques. Examples of this are Alison Sheetmetal who tears phone directories in half, and centre-half Donna Linebacker who can pull a truck with her teeth.
The Americans may have an Achilles Heel, though. Several times during the Nigeria game, players gathered together in a huddle and then broke from it, having reached a decision on a "play". Others tried to enter the field of play and then left it, in some kind of strange rotation system.
The match referee had to ask the team to remove coloured helmets before the start of the game, and many of them wore 'shoulder padding'.
Powell thinks that they may have got their sports confused, and will try to exploit this weakness when the teams line up later today.
Speaking on the England Women's football website www.noknickersorbras.com , hopeful Hopeless said:
"First down and ten!"