By Richard Morgan
Football journalist – @Richiereds1976
Last Updated: 05/10/19 3:50pm
England Women’s World Cup hangover continued as Debinha’s second-half double saw Brazil beat the Lionesses 2-1 at a sold-out Riverside.
Debinha opened the scoring four minutes after half-time, albeit with the help of a mistake from Mary Earps, before her deflected strike doubled the visitors’ lead midway through the second period.
However, despite the home side halving the deficit thanks to substitute Beth England’s magnificent header, it was too little, too late as Phil Neville’s side suffered their second loss in three games this season.
How Debinha’s double saw off Lionesses
The Lionesses came into this friendly looking for a return to the form that took them all the way to the World Cup semi-finals in the summer, and the hosts began proceedings on the front foot in front of more than 29,000 fans in the north east.
Nikita Parris had the ball in the net after just 10 minutes, only for the Lyon forward’s effort to rightly be ruled out for offside against Jodie Taylor in the buildup, before Beth Mead went desperately close to finding the far corner of the goal after a mesmerising run and dribble.
England spurned further gilt-edged chances before the break, none more so than when poor Brazil defending allowed Taylor a clear run on goal, only for the Reign forward’s chip to float over the bar.
And the South Americans – who lost 2-1 to France in the last-16 of the World Cup in June – made England pay for their profligacy in front of goal when Tamires’s run down the left and cut back was met by Debinha six yards out.
Earps – standing in for first-choice Karen Bardsley – got her hand to the weakly struck shot, only to spill it over the line, before the striker made it 2-0 when her effort was deflected past the backup goalkeeper by Steph Houghton.
The Lionesses, who had earlier seen Lucy Bronze pick up the Uefa Women’s Player of the Year award, got back into the contest when England rose magnificently to power Houghton’s deep cross into the far corner of the goal with 10 minutes left to play.
But there was not enough time left for England to avoid a fourth defeat in their past five encounters.
Player of the Match – Debinha
The North Carolina Courage forward was at her brilliant best at the Riverside, causing the England defence no end of problems throughout.
The striker’s opener may have owed much to some poor goalkeeping from Earps, while her decisive second took a deflection on its way into the net.
However, it was the 27-year-old’s all-round display in the north east that really caught the eye and ultimately proved the difference between the two sides.
Neville takes his England team to Lisbon to face Portugal in another friendly international at the Bonfim Stadium on Tuesday night, before hosting Germany at Wembley Stadium on November 9.
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Source : Sky Sports