Millie Bright and Carly Telford started for England as they began their defence of the SheBelieves Cup with a defeat.
There was further Chelsea involvement late in the game when Bethany England came on but she could not prevent Phil Neville’s side going down 2-0 against world champions the USA in Orlando, Florida.
The SheBelieves Cup is an annual four-team invitational tournament held in the United States which this year features Japan and Spain as well as the Lionesses and the host nation.
The England team would have been pleased with their first-half showing when they went in 0-0 at the interval. Telford had pulled off an important save when one on one with the States’ centre-forward Lindsey Horan midway through the half, and another one before the break from a relatively tame shot by Carli Lloyd, and they had a couple of chances of their own.
But a two quickfire goals early in the second half settled the contest with Lloyd and before her, Christen Press, finishing well. Beth England was introduced with 12 minutes left to play but could not find the net with a couple of opportunities. The Lionesses now play Japan on Sunday.
A number of Chelsea players took part in their opening fixture of the Algarve Cup, another invitational women’s football tournament held annually in Portugal.
Norway kicked off the tournament against Denmark and clinched a 2-1 victory when they netted the winner in stoppage time. Maren Mjelde captained her country at centre-back alongside Maria Thorisdottir, who was substituted on the hour mark, while Guro Reiten was one of the two forwards.
Pernille Harder of Wolfsburg gave Denmark an early lead after seven minutes with a rasping low strike into the far bottom corner, but it did not take long for the Norwegians to find an equaliser.
The attack began when Reiten knocked a long ball out wide to Ingrid Moe Wold, who then delivered an inviting cross into the box for Elive Hove Thorsnes to powerfully head home. Sofie Kinden Jensen was the match-winner when she slotted past the Danish goalkeeper with ease with minutes left to play.
Both Blues defenders Magdalena Eriksson and Jonna Andersson played a full 90 minutes for Sweden in their opening match against Germany. It was a tough start for our Swedes as the match ended in a narrow 1-0 defeat. Wolfsburg’s Svenja Huth struck in the first half. Both teams last met at the 2019 Women’s World Cup and Germany will no doubt see this as partial revenge as Sweden knocked them out at the quarter-final stage.
Adelina Engman’s Finland drew 1-1 with Czech Republic in the Cyprus Cup on Thursday. Our Finnish striker was an unused substitute for their tournament opener.
Next for our internationals playing for Chelsea Women is back-to-back matches in cup and league against Everton, starting away on Sunday 15 March in the FA Cup. Click for tickets