England 0 - USA 2
England's Women put in a fantastic performance, but went down 2-0 to the world champions USA in the friendly tournament, the Algarve Cup. England held the Americans until the 59th minute, but their opponents' fitness and experience won the day.
England fielded a stronger side than the one that lost 3-1 to Norway on Friday, although there were still several faces missing from the first choice XI due to injuries. The USA fielded six of their regular first team players, including Tiffeny Milbrett who came third in the FIFA World Player Of The Year awards in December.
USA started the game strongly and Shannon MacMillan saw her shot beat Rachel Brown in the England goal, but it went just wide of the left post. Midfielder Fara Williams had a chance too, but she sent a 25-yard volley just high of the bar. MacMillan again put a volley wide of the post later in the first half, but England deserved to go in at half-time on equal terms.
England changed goalkeepers at half-time and Doncaster Belles 'keeper Leanne Hall was tested from the start of the second half. Hall needed left-back Julie Fletcher to clear a shot from USA substitute Kylie Bivens on 56 minutes, but neither could stop MacMillan netting three minutes later - racing on to a throughball and slotting beneath Hall's body.
Fulham's Katie Chapman put in a spirited performance at centre-half and thwarted several USA attacks, whose forward play kept England pinned in their own half for long periods. Strikers Karen Walker and Angie Banks did well when they got the ball upfield, with the latter's performance earning the praise of the USA National Coach.
USA's Kelly Wilson scored the second goal, on her debut, which was almost a carbon copy of the first goal - outpacing Faye White and Fletcher to slide the ball under the advancing Hall on 75 minutes.
England made a few late substitutions to combat the tired legs, but the USA's superior fitness - every player either plays professional football or is on a football scholarship - was the decisive factor.
England did have a late chance on 88 minutes, as the US goalkeeper pushed a Rachel Yankey corner on to the bar.
National Coach Hope Powell was delighted with the performance: "We performed admirably and the girls can feel very proud of themselves. We made it very difficult for them to score, while having a few chances ourselves. Considering we didn't have a full first team out, I was very pleased with how we rated against the world champions."
USA now tie Group B with Norway, who drew 3-3 with Sweden earlier on Sunday. England, in bottom, play Sweden - runners-up in the 2001 European Championships - in Albufeira on Tuesday. England will play a final game on Thursday, the opponents dependent upon final group placings.
England: Rachel Brown (sub 46 mins Leanne Hall), Rachel MacArthur, Faye White, Katie Chapman, Julie Fletcher (sub 69 mins Rachel Unitt), Karen Burke, Fara Williams (sub 64 mins Sammy Britton), Vicky Exley, Rachel Yankey, Karen Walker (captain), Angie Banks
USA: Lorrie Fair (sub 46 mins Kylie Bivens), Cat Reddick, Shannon MacMillan, Ally Wagner, Julie Foudy (captain), Kristine Lilly, Joy Fawcett, Tiffeny Milbrett (sub 88 mins Devvyn Hawkins), Hope Solo, Danielle Slaton (sub 60 mins Kate Sobrero), Danielle Fotopoulos