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A first half strike gave Canada a 1-0 victory over England in the Cyprus Cup.
The goal came after just ten minutes, Christina Julien drilling a low, 15-yard shot beyond Karen Bardsley in the England goal.
Hope Powell's side soon grew into the game, and on 25 minutes England were on the attack. A miscued volley from Yankey fell into the path of Alex Scott who hit the ball on the volley but Canadian goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc got a faint touch to deflect the shot wide.
England continued to press and began to dominate the midfield area with short, one-touch passing. An interchange between Jill Scott and Fara Williams put Jess Clarke away down the left, who, in turn released Lianne Sanderson down the channel before flicking back into the path of Scott, but the ball was just too hard and LeBlanc gathered.
On 32 minutes England moved the ball wide where Alex Scott was upended for a direct free kick, from which Fara Williams bent the ball just over the crossbar.
Apart from brief forays where they showed neat and tidy passing, Canada appeared happy to sit on their one-goal lead and would only break occasionally, moving the ball forward at a good tempo. On 40 minutes, Alex Scott had a thundering shot blocked on the edge of the area to sum up England's dominance in possession and territory, but also Canada's defensive defiance holding onto their lead.
England started the second half with purpose. They had two piledrivers blocked by the stubborn Canadian defence and they dominated possession. The newly introduced Emily Westwood was immediately into the game. A sweeping move found Unitt on the left and her cross found the head of Westwood who should have finished it, instead heading over. Only minutes later she was foiled again from a good defensive block from inside the box.
England began to find space through the middle and went wide to swing dangerous balls into the middle, though Canada defended stoically and methodically making life really difficult for their opponents.
With ten minutes remaining, Canada caused England a problem for the first time in the half and Bardsley was forced to pull off a full length save. England went all out on the attack, creating some dangerous opportunities but to no avail. Canada suddenly broke on the counter attack and Sinclair went through one-on-one, but hit her shot straight at Bardsley.
Canada managed to hold on for the victory, which would have gone some way to avenging the defeat in last season's Cyprus Cup Final, and although England improved considerably from their opening game against South Africa, they will feel this was a game they should have won.
England: Karen Bardsley, Alex Scott, Casey Stoney, Fara Williams, Faye White, Laura Bassett (sub Dunia Susi 59mins), Jess Clarke, Jill Scott, Rachel Unitt, Lianne Sanderson (sub Emily Westwood 59mins), Rachel Yankey. (Report by www.TheFA.com)
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