England Women couldn’t make possession count as early and late goals condemned them to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Canada at Stoke City FC.
Evelyne Viens struck in the second minute to give the Canucks an early lead that the Lionesses worked hard to scrub out in the first half.
But despite several chances falling to Georgia Stanway, Hege Riise’s side couldn’t break through and Nichelle Prince struck on 87 minutes to ensure victory against a team led by former England assistant coach Bev Priestman.
England made it hard for themselves from the off, when they were caught cold after just two minutes and 30 seconds when Viens came from an offside position and took advantage of hesitant defending to stab past Carly Telford.
But the hosts re-settled themselves and enjoyed dominant patterns of possession, with the impressive Stanway often breaking energetically from midfield and coming close to catching out Canada keeper Stephanie Labbe from fully 40 yards.
But it was Stanway’s central midfield partner Jordan Nobbs who came closest for England on the half-hour mark when Labbe tipped her free-kick onto the crossbar.
Deanne Rose was proving a tricky customer for Riise’s back four to deal with and she led a counter-attack that ended when Quinn’s well-directed shot forced Telford into a save.
Ella Toone was introduced in place of Fran Kirby at the break and that seemed to help the Lionesses open up space between the lines, with Bethany England flicking a header on target in the opening minutes of the second half.
Lucy Bronze, also on from the bench, then repelled two Canada set-pieces and Nobbs broke with searing pace down the right flank, finding Toone with a looping cross that the attacking midfielder couldn’t control.
Lauren Hemp remained a threat on the left and the Manchester United star skinned right-back Ashley Lawrence but her low delivery eluded onrushing team-mates.
Livewire Hemp then nicked possession deep in Canada territory and drove into the box where Vanessa Giles made a telling recovering challenge to prevent the winger from scoring.
But England’s hopes of salvaging a draw were dashed in the final minutes, as Prince energetically chased down a back-pass to Karen Bardsley and was rewarded when she slid in before the substitute keeper Bardsley could clear to divert home and wrap up the result.