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England women qualify for World Cup despite sending off

England coach Hope Powell accused Swiss striker Ramona Bachmann of diving in the incident that led to Rachel Brown's dismissal in their World Cup play-off, reports BBC Sport. England won 3-2 to give themselves an aggregate 5-2 win over the two legs and book their place at next year's finals.

Powell confirmed that the Football Association will immediately appeal against goalkeeper Brown's sending off.

"It's quite evident that she dived. It was bizarre but it had the desired effect," said Powell.

"It's a shame it happened, but that's not the way to go about playing football and we have to appeal."

Brown was dismissed for allegedly pulling Bachman's hair and pushing her to the floor. But TV footage clearly showed that the striker had clutched her face and thrown herself to the ground.

Captain Faye White, also having seen the television replays, said: "The referee told me that she'd sent Rachel off for hair-pulling but that's clearly not the case.

"It's so obviously not a sending-off - I can't believe it!"

The incident tarnished an otherwise excellent night for Powell's team, whose victory means they have now qualified for four successive major tournaments including Euro 2009, where they finished runners-up to Germany.

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