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Brazil 2 (Debinha 49,67)
att: 29,238; at Middlesbrough FC>
England 1 (England 80)
Brazil 2 (Debinha 49,67)
att: 29,238; at Middlesbrough FC
England went down to their fourth defeat in five games after two second half goals from Debinha gave Brazil victory at the Riverside Stadium.
Substitute Beth England reduced arrears late on with her first senior team goal but Phil Neville's side were unable to complete the comeback.
Jordan Nobbs made her first England appearance since November 2018 after recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury, while Jill Scott turned out for the first time since the World Cup. Lucy Bronze was restored to her more familiar surroundings at right back, after starting England's previous two matches, against Belgium and Norway, in midfield.
As so often happens on home soil, the Lionesses began the game brightly, forcing Brazil onto the back foot from the off. Jodie Taylor bundled the ball over the line from a Beth Mead cross after just nine minutes, only to be flagged for offside.
Nikita Parris forced Barbara into action with a far post header before Mead bent a low shot just wide of the far post after skipping past Giovanna.
Mead again came within inches of breaking the deadlock just before half time but she couldn't quite get on the end of Nobbs' instinctive cross-shot after a mistake in the Brazil backline.
Brazil made three changes at the break and they paid dividends almost immediately. Some great work by Tamires allowed her to twist and turn past Parris before finding Debinha, whose downward header squeezed underneath Earps to give Brazil a 49th minute lead.
This goal appeared to galvanise Pia Sundhage's charges, who were the better side for the majority of the second half. They turned the screw on 67 minutes by punishing England for failing to clear their lines. Debinha took full advantage, dinking a neat shot over Earps and into the far corner.
The hosts appeared shell-shocked and it took England's introduction to spark a reaction. The in-form Chelsea striker got on the end of Steph Houghton's cross from deep to head home powerfully into the corner of the net from around 12 yards.
England almost nabbed an equaliser when diving to reach Mead's centre, but Barbara gathered safely. The Brazil keeper did even better in the final minute with a fabulous double save which ensured her side left the north east with a first win over England in three matches.
England are next in action when they take on Portugal in Setubal on Tuesday night.
England: Mary Earps, Lucy Bronze, Alex Greenwood, Keira Walsh, Steph Houghton, Nikita Parris (sub Lucy Staniforth 74mins), Jill Scott, Jodie Taylor (sub Beth England 74mins), Jordan Nobbs (sub Rachel Daly 58mins), Beth Mead. Subs not used: Carly Telford, Aoife Mannion, Gemma Bonner, Melissa Lawley, Ellie Roebuck.
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