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England twice saw errors at the back punished as they were beaten 2-0 by Canada at Stoke’s bet365 Stadium in their last match before the Great Britain squad for the Tokyo Olympics is named.
Canada, managed by former England assistant boss Bev Priestman, grabbed the lead in the third minute when Evelyne Viens capitalised on Demi Stokes’ mistake in the box.
And the visitors then made the most of sloppy play by the Lionesses again in the 86th minute when Karen Bardsley’s misjudged touch from a Millie Bright backpass allowed Nichelle Prince to finish from close range.
Jordan Nobbs’ free-kick that was tipped against the crossbar by Stephanie Labbe was the closest England went to scoring as they lost for the ninth time in 14 games and a second time in three matches under interim boss Hege Riise, who is set to name an 18-player GB squad next month.
Riise made six changes to her starting XI from Friday’s 3-1 defeat to France, with Bright taking the captain’s armband as Ellen White, skipper last time out, dropped to the bench and in the continued absence of the injured Steph Houghton.
Stokes was among those coming into the team and Lucy Bronze was among the substitutes after both had missed the France match due to minor injuries.
Canada were without their captain Christine Sinclair, scorer of a record 186 international goals including the winner when the sides last met in 2019 – she had come off injured in Friday’s 3-0 victory over Wales.
England’s poor start saw Stokes intercept an attempted through-ball from her Manchester City team-mate Janine Beckie only to then lose possession in the box, with Viens – who was in an offside position when Beckie tried to feed her – taking advantage by striking past Carly Telford.
Georgia Stanway sent a lob from distance and a further shot wide as the hosts looked to make a swift reply, and Beth England had the ball nicked away from her as she was trying to shoot in the six-yard box.
Nobbs almost brought things level just before the half-hour mark as she saw her free-kick touched on to the bar by Labbe, and Stanway fired off target moments later.
Stokes’ outing came to an end in the 32nd minute as she was replaced by Alex Greenwood.
Telford then pushed a curling effort by Quinn from outside the box over the bar as Canada exerted pressure towards the end of the half, and Beth England hit a shot off target at the other end.
Riise made two more substitutions at half-time, bringing on Bardsley for Telford and Ella Toone for Fran Kirby.
Beth England had a header comfortably caught by Labbe early in the second half before being replaced by Chloe Kelly, while Bronze came on for Rachel Daly around the hour.
An England break in the 68th minute saw Nobbs loft a pass to Toone but Jayde Riviere’s tackle ensured the move broke down, and Lauren Hemp then sent a good delivery into the Canada area but no-one was there to finish.
Hemp burst into the box in the 81st minute and hit a shot but was thwarted by Vanessa Gilles’ block.
England then suffered another malfunction at the back as Bright played the ball to Bardsley, who took a touch that was seized upon by substitute Prince to make it 2-0.