Tearful Ellen White ‘would have given up every goal’ for Olympic gold

  • Striker says she is ‘heartbroken’ but proud of Team GB
  • White insists players will bounce back from Australia defeat

A crushed and tear-stained Ellen White said she “would have given up every single goal to win a gold medal”, after Team GB suffered a bruising 4-3 defeat by Australia in extra time of their Olympic semi-final.

Team GB had come from behind to lead until an 89th-minute goal from the Chelsea striker Sam Kerr forced another 30 minutes.

“I’m devastated,” said White, who scored six goals across the tournament including a hat-trick in the defeat by the Matildas. “I really thought we could win the game. I thought we played some amazing football. I really thought that with this group of players we would go on to win gold. So yeah, absolutely heartbroken, but I couldn’t be more proud of the team and the staff.”

Cancellations forced by the pandemic meant that Team GB played one warm-up game, once they were in Japan for the Games. Hege Riise had only been given the manager’s job in March after the former England head coach Phil Neville left for Inter Miami.

“We haven’t been together very long but the relationships, the connections, the family-like feel, it’s been amazing,” said White. “It’s a horrible feeling but I wish Australia the best of luck in the next round.” The Australians will face Sweden, who beat the hosts Japan 3-1, in the semi-finals.

Performances were strong despite the difficult buildup. “We were so close,” White said. “That’s why we love and hate football at the same time. I can’t fault anybody; we gave absolutely everything in 90 minutes and then extra time.”

After her two goals had put Team GB in front White said they felt “good” but she added: “It’s just those fine margins in football. We’ll have to regroup as players and go again.”

Sign up for our Tokyo 2020 briefing with all the news, views and previews for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

How do you do that? “That’s a good question. How do you do that?” she reflected. “I’ll be laying on the sofa for a few weeks. It’s hard. I don’t know how many times you can get knocked down and get back up again but I love football.

“It’s hard, it’s challenging but it’s the love for the game and the want and the will to win trophies, the want to be the best player and the want to play international tournaments and play for your club. I’m not saying it’s a walk in the park because everyone is heartbroken in there but I know everyone will get back up again and strive to be better.”

Contributor

Suzanne Wrack at Ibaraki Kashima Stadium

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Australia beat GB to reach Olympic football semis despite White treble
The teenage substitute Mary Fowler and Chelsea striker Sam Kerr were the heroes as the Matildas beat Team GB, for whom Ellen White scored a hat-trick

Suzanne Wrack at Ibaraki Kashima Stadium

30, Jul, 2021 @11:49 AM

Article image
Team GB women’s football team kick off Olympics going for gold
Hege Riise has said that Team GB women’s football team have all the ingredients for success

Suzanne Wrack in Tokyo

20, Jul, 2021 @9:30 PM

Article image
Choosing Team GB Olympic football squad was ‘hardest decision’, says Riise
Hege Riise has included 15 England players, including Karen Bardsley, in her Team GB 18 for the Games in Japan

Suzanne Wrack

27, May, 2021 @9:30 PM

Article image
Home nations far from united over GB women’s Olympic football team | Ewan Murray
It was supposed to be a one-off for London 2012 but the team will be back at Tokyo 2020. Some Scotland players are eager to be involved but only the English are really happy

Ewan Murray

05, Nov, 2019 @1:00 PM

Article image
Ellen White sends Team GB to knockouts with winner against Japan
Ellen White scored her third goal of the Tokyo Olympics in a 1-0 victory over hosts Japan

Suzanne Wrack at the Sapporo Dome

24, Jul, 2021 @12:51 PM

Article image
‘It’s crazy’: Ellie Roebuck enjoying Team GB No 1 spot after show of patience
Team GB’s goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck has said she needed to be ‘patient’ to earn the No 1 shirt as an international

Suzanne Wrack in Tokyo

28, Jul, 2021 @10:54 AM

Article image
‘Tough mental preparation’ key to Team GB’s hopes against Australia
Manager Hege Riise has sought to instil resilience while also looking after players’ wellbeing at the Olympics

Suzanne Wrack in Tokyo

29, Jul, 2021 @12:00 PM

Article image
Team GB disappointed after television commentary gets players’ names wrong
Team GB’s Kim Little and Rachel Daly described as ‘disappointing’ the commentary that has seen players misnamed at the Tokyo Olympics

Suzanne Wrack in Tokyo

29, Jul, 2021 @8:34 AM

Article image
Kim Little relishing Japan test after nutmegs get her trending on Twitter | Suzanne Wrack
Midfielder and her fellow Scot Caroline Weir have slotted effortlessly into a Team GB side dominated by English players

Suzanne Wrack in Sapporo

23, Jul, 2021 @4:12 PM

Article image
Team GB’s Keira Walsh: ‘I work a lot with psychologists and that helps me’ | Suzanne Wrack
Defensive midfielder tells Suzanne Wrack about dealing with criticism, why she is enjoying Hege Riise’s management and the hotel ‘corridor club’ in Japan

Suzanne Wrack in Sapporo

23, Jul, 2021 @11:41 AM