England lost their first game under Sarina Wiegman as a series of errors saw them beaten 2-0 by Australia, bringing their 30-match unbeaten run to an end.
It was a performance that reflected the gloomy conditions at the Gtech Community Stadium, where the Lionesses were unable to follow up their dramatic Finalissima win with a victory in their final game before the Women’s World Cup squad is announced.
Australia had England’s game plan figured out at every turn and went ahead through star forward Sam Kerr (32). England skipper Leah Williamson’s error allowed the Matilda’s captain through to slot home past Mary Earps – although replays showed she was offside.
It was Williamson again involved in Australia’s second. Charlotte Grant’s header (67) hit the defender on the way through before nestling into the back of the net. It is the first time England have conceded more than one goal in a game under Wiegman.
The Lionesses never really responded and struggled to break down a well-drilled Matilda’s side, finding it tough to deal with their aggressiveness that forced plenty of errors. It will give Wiegman plenty to consider ahead of her World Cup squad announcement in the coming months.
More to follow…
England’s next scheduled match is at the World Cup as they get their tournament underway against Haiti on July 22; kick-off 10.30am.
Australia take on France in a friendly on July 14 in their next scheduled match before their World Cup campaign gets under way against Republic of Ireland on July 20; kick-off 11am.
What is the World Cup schedule?
The group stage will begin on July 20 and run over a two-week period finishing on August 3 and see group winners and runners-up progress to the round of 16, which takes place from August 5 to August 8.
The quarter-finals, which will be held in Wellington, Auckland, Brisbane and Sydney, are scheduled for August 11 and 12.
The first semi-final will then be played on August 15 in Auckland, with the other semi-final taking place on August 16 at the Accor Stadium in Sydney, which will then host the final on August 20.
A third-place play-off will be played the day before the final on August 19 in Brisbane.