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England 1 (Kirby pen 79)>
Women's Soccer Scene
England beaten by France
 Women's Football England International News - 12 Apr 2021
France 3 (Baltimore 32, Asseyi pen 63, Katoto 82)
England 1 (Kirby pen 79)

England were beaten 3-1 by France in the first of their double header of friendlies in Caen on Friday night.
Fran Kirby scored from the penalty goal for what proved to be a consolation on the night but a third goal from Marie-Antoinette Katoto gave the host side a deserved win on the night.
With Steph Houghton out through injury, Ellen White wore the armband in her place whilst the France starting line up was notable for not containing a single player from perennial European champions Olympique Lyonnais for the first time since 2006. The only Lyon player to actually start the game was England striker Nikita Parris.
England were on the front foot early on with neat interplay between Kirby and Beth Mead seeing the latter sting the home goalkeeper's palms and another good save from Pauline Peyraud-Magnin then prevented the on-top Lionesses from taking the lead, with Parris' fine drive coming agonisingly close to finding the corner.
The French goalkeeper was on top form but so too was Ellie Roebuck at the other end, needing to get her fingertips to a swerving Sandy Baltimore strike. White then slid the ball home after yet another superb move involving Mead, Kirby and the Manchester City striker, only for the offside flag to halt her celebrations.
Moments later, France were ahead. The speedy Kadidiatou Diani got in behind the England defence and squared the ball across to Baltimore, who fired into the top corner just after the half hour.
Half time in a frantic match rapidly approached but both sides still had time for more chances, with Parris only able to nod wide for the Lionesses following an exquisite ball in from Keira Walsh.
Substitute Chloe Kelly, who came on at the break alongside debutant Niamh Charles, then nodded over the bar but Roebuck had to be sharp to deny Marie-Antoinette Katoto with a strong save.
Roebuck then produced another terrific save to tip Diani's long-range effort onto the bar but she was helpless moments later as France went 2-0 up. The ball ricocheted off the woodwork and fell into the path of Elisa de Almeida who was fouled by Rachel Daly, leading to a penalty tucked away by Vivianne Asseyi on the hour.
England found a route back into the game when Lauren Hemp turned and was felled in the penalty area. Kirby duly converted from the penalty spot to set up an exciting last fifteen minutes.
France hadn't conceded in more than 13 hours of football but England's tails were up, Hemp pulling the ball back for Walsh who struck the base of the post. But just as the Lionesses gained in confidence, France restored their two-goal advantage. Diani battled her way into space down the right and laid the ball on a plate for Katoto to tap the hosts into a 3-1 lead, one they didn't relinquish.
France: Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, Marion Torrent (sub Eve Perisset 85mins), Perle Morroni, Aissatou Tounkara, Elisa De Almeida, Onema Grace Geyoro, Ella Palis (sub Ines Jaurena 60mins), Kadidiatou Diani (sub Kenza Dali 85mins), Valerie Gauvin (sub Viviane Asseyi 59mins), Marie-Antoinette Katoto, Sandy Baltimore. Subs not used: Solene Durand, Julie Thibaud, Oriane Jean-Francois, Eugenie Le Sommer, Lea Khelifi, Constance Picaud, Louise Fleury, Oceane Deslandes, Grace Kazadi Ntambwe.
England: Ellie Roebuck, Rachel Daly, Alex Greenwood (sub Niamh Charles 45mins), Keira Walsh, Millie Bright, Leah Williamson (sub Lotte Wubben-Moy 64mins), Nikita Parris (sub Chloe Kelly 45mins), Jill Scott (sub Jordan Nobbs 73mins), Ellen White (sub Beth England 74mins), Fran Kirby, Beth Mead (sub Lauren Hemp 64mins). Subs not used: Sandy MacIver, Millie Turner, Ella Toone, Georgia Stanway, Carly Telford, Karen Bardsley, Esme Morgan.


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