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Portugal 0 England 1 (Mead 72)
Beth Mead scored the only goal of the game as England won for the first time since the quarter finals of the World Cup.
The striker was on hand to tuck the ball into the empty net following a clanger by Portuguese goalkeeper Patricia Morais, to settle a dull and scrappy affair in Setubal.
The opening stages of the game were bright with Morais saving an early header from Beth England, who was also inches away from reaching a low ball into the area by Mead.
However, these opportunities were all too rare as England struggled to break down a well organised Portugal defence in the first half.
The home side were relying mainly on the counter attack to try and trouble England but were making little impression and Ellie Roebuck was seldom troubled.
A poor first half did come to life in the last minute as England drilled a low cross from the left which looked to set up Nikita Parris for a tap in but Monica Mendes was superbly placed to turn the ball away and keep the scoreline goalless at the break.
The pattern of the game continued in the second half as England continued to look devoid of confidence going forward whilst Portugal kept things in front of goal.
The introduction of Jordan Nobbs and Jodie Taylor substitution breathed fresh life into the England side and both had chances right away to break the stalemate.
A fine pass by Keira Walsh released Taylor on goal and Morais did well to come out and block her shot, which rebounded to Nobbs to was denied by a fine challenge from Mendes. Rachel Daly returned the ball into the area but Taylor sent a free header wide from six yards.
However six minutes later, Morais went from heroine to villain as a harmless looking cross from Alex Greenwood went through her hands under no pressure. Mead was lurking in the middle and could hardly believe her luck as she accepted the gift, prodding the ball into the empty net from point blank range.
The goal visibly gave England a lift and they almost produced a fine goal with a move which went the length of the pitch before Parris headed into the side netting.
There was time to bring on Lauren Hemp for her first senior cap late on but the home side were to come within inches of snatching an equaliser with virtually the last kick of the game.
After Walsh had been penalised on the edge of the area, Claudia Neto's free kick struck the underside of the bar and hit a diving Roebuck in the back, however the young goalkeeper reacted quickly and was able to grab the ball before it could cross the line.
England: Ellie Roebuck, Lucy Bronze, Alex Greenwood, Keira Walsh, Steph Houghton, Leah Williamson, Nikita Parris, Lucy Staniforth (sub Melissa Lawley 79mins), Beth Mead (sub Lauren Hemp 85mins), Rachel Daly (sub Jordan Nobbs 65mins), Beth England (sub Jodie Taylor 65mins). Subs not used: Carly Telford, Mary Earps, Aoife Mannion, Gemma Bonner.
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