England women suffer shock defeat v New Zealand in World Cup warm-up

Soccer Football - Women's International Friendly - England v New Zealand - American Express Community Stadium, Brighton, Britain - June 1, 2019 England's Jodie Taylor shoots wide Action Images via Reuters/Adam Holt

(Reuters) – England suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat against New Zealand in their final women’s World Cup warm-up match at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

The visitors grabbed the decisive goal just after half-time as Sarah Gregorius poked home from close range after goalkeeper Carly Telford dropped Rosie White’s shot following some sluggish England defending.

England dominated possession and created the majority of chances against the New Zealanders, who will also feature at the World Cup in France, but were unable to find a breakthrough in front of a crowd of some 20,000.

Forward Jodie Taylor came closest for the hosts when she was denied by goalkeeper Erin Nayler in the 16th minute.

Phil Neville’s Lionesses, bidding to improve on their third-placed finish in the 2015 edition, kick off their World Cup against Scotland in Nice on June 9.

The defeat was England’s second in four matches in their ‘Road to France’ series, on the back April’s 1-0 loss to Canada and well-deserved victories over Spain and Denmark.

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