The England Under-19’s ended their season with defeat to a French team that were the more clinical side in a friendly played at St George’s Park, reports TONY LEIGHTON.
Two days after a goalless draw between the teams at the same venue, goals early in each half by Emelyne Laurent and Clara Mateo gave the visitors victory.
Winger Laurent struck home a 14th minute cross shot to open the scoring as France made a strong start to the game.
But England forced their way back into contention and should have equalised eight minutes before half-time.
A good run and cross by Sunderland right back Danielle Brown set up Mollie Green (pictured), but from 10 yards the Liverpool striker shot well over the bar.
The French lead was doubled seven minutes into the second half, midfielder Lisa Fragoli crossing for substitute Mateo to score from close range.
England again hit back, but despite having good possession they failed to produce any further clear-cut chances.
England coach Mo Marley said: “Playing back-to-back games is difficult and both teams showed some fatigue.
“But we set the two games up like this to replicate a tournament situation, so it was good experience for the girls.
“We had a number of Under-18’s in our side so it was certainly good experience for them, especially against such quality opponents.
“As a team our performance in the first game was better than in this one, but it was difficult to sustain the same level.
“We found it tough today in an intense game against a French team that are technically very good.
“But the girls stuck with the game plan and they can take a lot from another difficult match.”
(Images: The FA via Getty)
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