WEARSIDERS Steph Houghton and Jill Scott both scored, but bad defending saw England Women pgged back to a 2-2 draw against France in Paris on Saturday.
Despite that, it was a good result for England against the team which knocked them out of last year’s World Cup.
England spent the first 30 minutes on the back-foot, with goalkeeper Karen Bardsley tested several times and defender Alex Scott also coming to the rescue after 27 minutes to clear Eugenie Le Sommers’ left-footed strike off the line.
However, the match began to swing England’s way after 34 minutes when Les Bleues goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi inexplicably handled the ball outside of the area.
The 26-year-old was lucky to escape a red card, but England made their opponents pay when Houghton smashed the resulting free-kick past the wall and into the top right corner.
It was England’s first chance of the match and they also took full advantage of their next one, with Rachel Yankey’s cross from the left headed home by an unmarked Scott five minutes later.
France came out with intent in the second half and they were gifted a way back into the match after 59 minutes.
A poor backpass from Toni Duggan fell short and Bardsley was weak in a challenge, allowing Marie Delie to tap into an empty net.
And the striker completed the comeback for France eight minutes from time, running on to a long ball down the middle – which caught England’s defence napping – before lobbing substitute goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain.