Seven Blues play as England lose to USA
- 04 March 2016 02:20
- Posted by @MCWFC
All seven of MCWFC's England representatives played as the Lionesses lost 1-0 to the USA in their opening game of the SheBelieves Cup.
Captain Steph Houghton, Karen Bardsley, Lucy Bronze, Toni Duggan, Jill Scott and Demi Stokes all started for the national team in Florida, who were denied a creditable draw against the reigning world champions thanks to a moment of magic from Crystal Dunn.
The substitute broke the deadlock 19 minutes from time, after a neat turn took her away from Houghton in the box and allowed her to fire the ball beyond Bardsley into the top corner.
That piece of individual brilliance decided what was a tightly contested affair.
Both teams struggled to create any clear cut chances in the first half, as England’s compact pressing game reduced the USA to long balls and stifled FIFA World Player of the Year, Carli Lloyd.
Mark Sampson’s side saw their penalty appeals waved away by the referee, who deemed that the ball had not struck Becky Sauerbrunn’s hand, in what was the closest either side might have come to a goal in the opening period.
The game opened up after the break and with it came England’s best chance. A long ball from Fara Williams set Duggan free but her angled drive was well saved by Hope Solo.
Izzy Christiansen came on to ensure all seven of the MCWFC players in the England squad were on the pitch at the same time and she might have forced an equaliser, only for her header to bounce wide.
Up next for England are Germany, who beat France 1-0 in the opening game of the SheBelieves Cup. That game takes place on Sunday 6 March at 10.30pm (GMT).
After the international break, MCWFC's England stars will return to Manchester to prepare for the new Women's Super League season. 2016 Seasoncards are now on sale so you can guarantee your seat for all MCWFC home games, including the UEFA Women's Champions League.
To celebrate the big kick off we're also giving fans the opportunity to meet Steph Houghton and Toni Duggan. Find out how you can win this special visit.