Gerrard to atone for last minute error

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> England midfielder Steven Gerrard has promised he will make up for the error that allowed France to snatch a last gasp 2-1 victory.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
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England midfielder Steven Gerrard has promised he will make up for the error that allowed France to snatch a last gasp 2-1 win in their European Championship opener. Deep in injury time on Sunday night, Gerrard underhit a back pass toward goalkeeper David James. French striker Thierry Henry ran onto it and was tripped as he rounded James and earned France a penalty. Zinedine Zidane converted the spot kick. "I didn't see Thierry and I gave a bad pass, but these things happen," Gerrard said. "I can promise the fans I will make up for it and I'm glad it happened in the first game and so I have a chance to do that. We're not out of the tournament. Hopefully I have only cost us one game and I will bounce back. We are all rallying round each other because we all win together and we all lose together," he added. No blame Gerrard was Liverpool's standout player last season and teammate Michael Owen said the players didn't blame him for the defeat. "He's a strong character and there are plenty of hard-luck stories there," Owen said. "But everyone can look at each other in the eye and be proud of each other as we gave them a great game, played well." "We were 1-0 up after 91 minutes, but things like that happen in football. It's probably the cruelest game I've played in but we just have to kick on," he added. Gerrard said he was even more motivated for England's next match against Switzerland in Coimbra on Thursday. England is bottom of Group B after the Swiss drew 0-0 with Croatia earlier Sunday. "It makes our game against Switzerland on Thursday even bigger," he said. "We can't afford to be down, we have to keep going. There are a few players, including me, who made individual errors but we will bounce back. It's a clean slate in the morning and we'll take it from there. " Moment of magic Defender Gary Neville said the nature of France's win didn't remind him of Manchester United's similar last gasp win over Bayern Munich to win the 1999 Champions League final. "Not really," he said. "If it was the final, then maybe it would have done, but we live to fight another day. "Football kicks you in the teeth sometimes as we lost a match that we had played very well in for 90 minutes. We were two minutes off winning and people would then have said that we could have won this tournament. That would have been silly as well." Neville credited Zidane with producing a "moment of magic" before converting a penalty. "Sometimes you can't explain things which happen in football and that was one of them," Neville said. "I feel a little bit for Stevie but he will prove to be one of the best players that England have had, so I'm not concerned about him in that respect. "We will pick ourselves up and so will he." England's final group match is against Croatia on June 21 in Lisbon. The top two Group B teams will play the top two from Group A in the quarterfinals. (AP)

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