Phil Neville’s England have been beaten 2-1 by Brazil in an international friendly at The Riverside Stadium this afternoon.
A record crowd of 29,238 for an England fixture away from Wembley were in attendance as the Lionesses again failed to shine following August’s disappointing friendly results.
England started the match with plenty of early zip and Nikita Parris headed a lovely lofted pass from Keira Walsh into the path of Jodie Taylor but visiting keeper Barbara raced out of her goal to clear the ball away.
Mead then put in a delicious cross for Parris but the ball was put behind following some last-ditch Brazilian defending.
England had the ball in the net on nine minutes when a combination of Taylor and Parris bundled the ball over the line from close range but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Parris was twice denied by Barbara then Beth Mead cleverly tricked her marker before firing wide from a narrow angle.
Jordan Nobbs and Mead had half-chances to score towards the end of the half but they were unable to severely test Barbara as the first half ended goalless.
Brazil took a surprise lead just after the break. Debinha got her head on a looping cross and the ball squirmed beyond home keeper Mary Earps into the net.
It was Debinha who netted the second goal of the game 22 minutes from time when she struck a close range effort which took a deflection and looped over Earps.
Beth England and Lucy Staniforth were thrown on with 17 minutes to go and the former made her mark, heading in from a Steph Houghton cross with 10 minutes left on the clock, the Chelsea star’s first senior England goal.
Forward England almost had her brace five minutes before the end but her diving header was too close to Barbara in the visitors goal.
The Lionesses continued to push for an equaliser and only the fingertips of Barbara denied Staniforth a goal, clawing away her goal-bound header as Brazil hung on for an impressive victory on English soil.