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Canada 2 (Viens 3, Prince 86)
at Stoke City F.C.>
Canada 2 (Viens 3, Prince 86)
at Stoke City F.C.
England were made to pay for two defensive errors as early and late goals condemned them to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Canada.
Evelyne Viens struck in the second minute to give the Canucks an early lead that the Lionesses worked hard to scrub out in the first half. But despite several chances falling to Georgia Stanway, Hege Riise's side couldn't break through and Nichelle Prince struck on 87 minutes to ensure defeat against a team led by former England assistant coach Bev Priestman.
England made it hard for themselves from the off, when they were caught cold after just two minutes and 30 seconds when, although Viens was in an offside position from Jessie Fleming's initial pass, she took advantage of hesitant defending to dispossess Demi Stokes and stab home past Carly Telford.
The hosts re-settled themselves and enjoyed dominant patterns of possession, with Stanway often breaking energetically from midfield. Stanway came close to catching out Canada keeper Stephanie Labbe from fully 40 yards and then drove wide two minutes later.
It was Stanway's central midfield partner Jordan Nobbs who came closest for England on the half hour mark though, when Labbe tipped her free kick onto the bar.
Deanne Rose was proving a tricky customer for Riise's back four to deal with and she led a counter attack that ended when Quinn's well-directed shot forced Telford into a save.
Ella Toone was introduced in place of Fran Kirby at the break and that seemed to help the Lionesses open up space between the lines, with Beth England flicking a header on target in the opening minutes of the second half.
Lucy Bronze, also on from the bench, then repelled two Canada set pieces and Nobbs broke with searing pace down the right flank, finding Toone with a looping cross that the attacking midfielder couldn't control. Lauren Hemp remained a threat on the left and the Manchester City winger skinned right back Ashley Lawrence but her low delivery eluded onrushing team mates.
Livewire Hemp then nicked possession deep in Canada territory and drove into the box where Vanessa Giles made a telling recovering challenge to prevent the winger from scoring with a superbly timed tackle.
However England's hopes of salvaging a draw were dashed in the final minutes, as Prince energetically chased down a back pass to Karen Bardsley and was rewarded when she slid in as Bardsley hesitated to divert home and wrap up the result.
England: Carly Telford (sub Karen Bardsley 45mins), Rachel Daly (sub Lucy Bronze 64mins), Demi Stokes (sub Alex Greenwood 32mins), Georgia Stanway, Millie Bright, Leah Williamson, Nikita Parris (sub Ellen White 80mins), Jordan Nobbs, Beth England (sub Chloe Kelly 64mins), Fran Kirby (sub Ella Toone 45mins), Lauren Hemp. Subs not used: Keira Walsh, Millie Turner, Jill Scott, Ellie Roebuck, Sandy MacIver, Beth Mead, Niamh Charles, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Esme Morgan.
Canada: Stephanie Labbe, Allysha Chapman, Ashley Lawrence, Shelina Zadorsky, Quinn (sub Sophie Schmidt 82mins), Deanne Rose (sub Nichelle Prince 59mins), Vanessa Gilles, Jessie Fleming, Janine Beckie, Evelyne Viens (sub Jordyn Huitema 59mins), Desiree Scott (sub Jayde Riviere 66mins). Subs not used: Julia Grosso, Gabrielle Carle, Erin McLeod, Jordyn Listro, Jade Rose, Rylee Foster, Lindsay Agnew, Samantha Chang, Cloe Lacasse, Sarah Stratigakis, Jenna Hellstrom.
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