England coach Hope Powell believes her side will taste future success despite a heavy loss to all-conquering Germany in the UEFA EURO 2009 final tonight.
England were ultimately no match for the much-fancied Germans as, after a spirited early effort, they went down 6-2 in a compelling encounter in Helsinki. Powell's side twice halved two-goal deficits through Karen Carney and Kelly Smith but world champions Germany could not be stopped as they powered to a fifth successive European title with a strong finish.
"The scoreline sounds like a walloping but I don't think it was," Powell said. "We started very brightly and we still believed we were in it at 3-2. We still went out to win the game, even though we were 6-2 down. We still wanted to attack and we have to applaud that.
"I truly believe they feel they were in a game tonight," she went on. "We're happy with what we have achieved in reaching the final but not satisfied. I think this will make the girls hungrier next time and one day it will be our day."
They kept the ball very well and we made a few unforced errors that put us on the back foot and made it difficult. We played well in patches but they moved the ball very quickly and that is a lesson for us.
Inka Grings, who finished as the tournament's top goalscorer with six, and veteran Birgit Prinz, to take her record international tally to 125, both struck twice for the holders. Melanie Behringer and Kim Kulig were also on target for the mighty Germans, who have not been beaten in tournament football since 1999.
"I think you have to give the Germans some credit, they were very clinical," Powell added. "They kept the ball very well and we made a few unforced errors that put us on the back foot and made it difficult. We played well in patches but they moved the ball very quickly and that is a lesson for us.
Germany coach Silvia Neid admitted England had made life tough before her side eventually secured their seventh EURO title in eight attempts.
"I wouldn't have imagined the final would have eight goals," Neid said. "Two very good teams made it a really good final and the game went up and down. I thought England could have got back into the game, even at 4-2 down. I only felt confident at 5-2 when England started to look tired and we were still enthusiastic."
Player of the match Grings, who has now won the golden boot in two successive EURO finals, added: "I am very happy with the awards but don't forget the team. With team-mates like this you will always look good and it is just a beautiful night."