Defensive display dismays Lionesses following France defeat

England paid for the absence of captain Steph Houghton and Lucy Bronze as France were able to exploit some defensive weaknesses in a 3-1 friendly victory in Caen.

For all their rustiness at the back, the Lionesses looked far sharper up front and only an inspired display by France keeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin prevented the margin of victory being narrower.

England did score from the penalty spot through Fran Kirby but Nikita Parris and Beth Mead were both denied by fine saves.

Hege Riise's side take on Canada in Stoke on Tuesday.

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