England learn lessons in defeat
France 1 England 0
England's women put in a strong performance in Marseilles in this curtain raiser to the charity match between France and the FIFA World Stars, but were narrowly defeated by their French hosts in front of a huge crowd.
A third minute goal by French striker Anne Zenoni proved decisive and despite excellent goalkeeping debuts from Leanne Hall and substitute Layla Young it was the home side, who finished top in their European qualifying group, who gained victory in front of 50,000 vocal fans.
Zenoni was the major threat right from the whistle and it took only three minutes before she took a well-weighted pass with ease, beat left-back Julie Fletcher for pace and lobbed an unlucky Hall to give her side the lead.
England had a number of chances to equalise and were unfortunate not to be on level terms in the 36th minute when a corner by Karen Burke found an unmarked Sammy Britton just inside the six-yard box but the right-back's powerful header was cleared off the line by Sonia Bompastor.
"It was fantastic playing in front of the biggest crowd of our lives," said England skipper Maureen Marley. "It was an exciting game and although we are disappointed with the result we are delighted to be here. The way we played has set us up well for the rest of the season."