International round-up: Lionesses beaten, but Spain and Japan win

International round-up: Lionesses beaten, but Spain and Japan win

Lauren Hemp’s assist ultimately counted for nothing as England were beaten 2-1 by France at a packed St James’ Park. 

It was the Lionesses’ first defeat of their UEFA Women’s Championship qualifying campaign, with the French now in a strong position, five points clear at the top of the group with Sweden and England joint second on four points.

England were rocked by an injury to goalkeeper Mary Earps just a couple of minutes after the start of the game, but it was Chelsea’s Hannah Hampton and not City youngster Khiara Keating who came on to replace the Manchester United custodian.

Unusually, Hemp was the only City player to start and as the Lionesses gradually worked their way into the game, it was Hemp’s low pull-back that Beth Mead converted from eight yards out with 31 minutes played.

But France levelled thanks to a superb Elisa de Almeida volley on 41 minutes and Marie-Antoinette Katoto then gave the visitors the lead on 68 minutes.

England were far from their fluent best, despite the backing of an enthusiastic 42,560 crowd.

Chloe Kelly replaced Georgia Stanway on 79 minutes while Keating, Jess Park, Alex Greenwood, and Esme Morgan were all unused subs.

Elsewhere, Leila Ouahabi and Laia Aleixandri both featured in Spain’s 2-0 win over Denmark.

Ouahabi played the full 90 minutes, while team-mate Aleixandri was replaced on 79 – by which time the points had been sealed thanks to goals from Jenni Hermoso (17) and a Maria Caldentey penalty (28).

Spain top the group with maximum points from their three games so far.

Three other City players were in action today in international friendlies.

Alanna Kennedy and Mary Fowler played for Australia in a 1-1 draw with China in an Olympic Games warm-up.

Michelle Hayman’s 90+5 leveller saved the Matildas in the game played at the Adelaide Oval.

And Yui Hasegawa came on for Fuka Nagano after 79 minutes as Japan beat New Zealand 2-0, but didn’t have time to make too much of an impression.

Mina Tanaja (45+2) and Toko Koga (47) were the scorers.