England Women extended their winning streak with a 1-0 victory over Brazil at Meadow Lane in Nottingham.
Phil Neville’s side were taking on a Brazil side who are currently ranked eighth in FIFA’s World Rankings, five places below England.
Chelsea Ladies forward Fran Kirby put the Lionesses ahead in less than two minutes. Her header on the end of Nikita Parris’ in-swinging cross clipped the underside of the crossbar on its way past visiting goalkeeper Barbara and in.
The star name in Brazil’s side was their striker, Marta, who has won the World’s Women’s Player of the Year award six times. She had Brazil’s opening effort of the game, with her spontaneous curling effort from outside of the penalty area only going narrowly wide. She was substituted midway through the opening period, with Raquel replacing her.
A minute later, Parris again found Kirby with a delivery from the right side. Her header was floating towards Houston Dash’s Rachel Daly, but the Brazil defence pounced and cleared their lines.
Parris’ influence on the right-wing continued before half-time; the Manchester City winger first picked out Walsh in the box, whose header was saved by Barbara. Shortly after, Parris had two chances at the end of her thunderous run into the penalty area, her first effort forced a strong save out of Brazil’s ‘keeper, and she was unable to steer her rebounded effort on target.
Kirby created a golden chance for Daly on the half-hour mark; after being found in the box by Kirby’s low cross, Daly shanked her effort wide.
City winger Parris did manage one final attempt before the interval after dispossessing the visiting midfield, only for her effort to go across goal and wide.
With 20 minutes remaining, Kirby came close to adding a second, with her driven strike from distance forcing a strong save out of Brazil’s 30-year-old stopper.
Daly was almightily close to eventually scoring in the final 10 minutes with a spectacular volley from Manchester United defender Alex Greenwood’s cross, only to be denied by a superb save.
Kirby was one of three Chelsea players to feature, with goalkeeper Carly Telford and centre-back Mille Bright also both starting. Hannah Blundell was amongst the substitutes but did not come on.
The Lionesses are next in action on Tuesday evening, where they will take on Australia at Craven Cottage.