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England beaten in Final
 Women's Football News 13 Mar 2014
 
France 2 (Thiney 6, Abily 18) England 0
England relinquished their Cyprus Cup crown after being beaten 2-0 by France in the final in Nicosia. 
 
Rachel Yankey's fine finish had defeated Canada in last season's showpiece, but Mark Sampson's new side were on the back foot almost from the off as Gaetane Thiney prodded the French into a sixth minute lead.
 
Camille Abily made it 2-0 with an angled finish from inside the box soon after and although there were no more goals, France just about edged it overall, particularly after their dominant first half performance.
 
It was England's first defeat under the former Bristol Academy boss following three wins and a draw in his first four matches. The 2013 champions reached the final following wins over Italy, Finland and Canada in the group stage and Sampson kept faith with the majority of players who started the first and third matches.
 
There were three changes from the victory against the Canadians on Monday as Malmo midfielder Anita Asante and Liverpool duo Gemma Davison and Natasha Dowie came in for Arsenal midfielder Jordan Nobbs, Notts County forward Ellen White and Boston Breakers striker Lianne Sanderson respectively.
 
But it was the French who started the brightest with Louisa Necib plundering a 25-yard half volley off Siobhan Chamberlain's right-hand upright in just the third minute. They took the lead soon after.
 
Some typically pacy wing play from the jet-heeled Elodie Thomis allowed her to burst past Demi Stokes down the right, England's backline failed to deal with her low cross and Thiney poked home the loose ball from close range.
 
The Juvisy forward then turned provider as France made the most of their territorial advantage. Thiney slipped a through ball into the area for Abily to fire an angled drive past Chamberlain from ten yards.
 
Abily fired a shot narrowly wide and Chamberlain leapt from her line to deny Thiney a free header at goal as France continued to dictate proceedings.
 
A large period of the game then ensued where neither goalkeeper was troubled - until two substitutes combined early in the second half to give England their first real opportunity.
 
Eniola Aluko, on for Davison, scampered to the goal line and pulled the ball back for Jill Scott, who replaced Asante, but the Manchester City midfielder skewed her 18-yard shot over the bar.
 
A France substitute then got in on the action; Marina Makanza using her strength to get past Stokes before firing narrowly wide of the far post.
 
England grew into the game in the second period but were unable to get a real foothold in the game to mount a comeback. One bright moment came when record goalscorer Kelly Smith appeared from the bench for her first international appearance since Euro 2013.
 
However, the French managed to see the game out in relative comfort for their first piece of silverware under their new manager Philippe Bergeroo.
 
England: Siobhan Chamberlain, Alex Scott, Demi Stokes, Anita Asante (sub Jill Scott 51mins), Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton, Karen Carney (sub Lianne Sanderson 66mins), Fara Williams, Natasha Dowie (sub Kelly Smith 66mins), Gemma Davison (sub Eniola Aluko 58mins), Toni Duggan. Subs not used: Carly Telford, Jade Moore, Ellen White.

France: Sarah Bouhaddi, Wendie Renard, Laura Georges, Jessica Houara, Eugenie Le Sommer (sub Kheira Hamraoui 69mins), Camille Abily, Elodie Thomis (sub Marina Makanza 53mins), Louisa Necib, Elise Bussaglia, Gaetane Thiney (sub Marie Laure Delie 77mins), Griedge Mbock Bathy. Subs not used: Celine Deville, Sabrina Delannoy, Corine Franco, Laetitia Tonazzi, Camille Catala, Laetitia Phillipe, Amel Majri, Viviane Asseyi.


 
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