- England end their Road to France series with a defeat
- Sarah Gregorius scores the winner for New Zealand
- A total of 20,076 watch the game inside the Amex
- The Lionesses begin their World Cup campaign against Scotland on 9th June
England ended their series of Road to France friendlies with a narrow 1-0 defeat to New Zealand at the Amex.
An impressive crowd of 20,076 spectators watched on, as a strike from Sarah Gregorius gave the visitors a surprise victory on the south coast before both teams commence their World Cup campaigns.
The Lionesses took the game to New Zealand and created a number of chances in the first half, the best of which fell to Nikita Parris.
The Lyon forward saw her curling left-footed strike go over the bar, before a separate attempt from distance missed the target.
Chances for the visitors were limited before the break, but Carly Telford did have to be alert to tip Betsy Hassett’s shot over.
Despite England dominating the first half, New Zealand struck with what proved to be the only goal of the game, courtesy of Gregorius, who fired in a close-range finish with 50 minutes on the clock.
The Lionesses had the majority of possession in the second half, and had a golden chance to equalise when the ball fell to Karen Carney at the end of a free-flowing move, but she shot straight at Erin Nayler.
Phil Neville’s side came close again when two substitutes combined when Carney teed up Jill Scott at the far post, but the latter’s header hit the side netting.
England continued to dominate possession, but failed to really trouble Nayler in the goal, meaning the Lionesses head to France on the back of a defeat.
ENGLAND: Telford; Bronze, Houghton, McManus, Greenwood; Staniforth (Scott 68), Walsh (Stanway 89), Parris (Mead 68); Kirby, Duggan (Carney 54), Taylor (White 75).
SUBS NOT USED: Bardsley (GK), Roebuck (GK), Bright, Williamson, Blundell.