England drew 0-0 against Portugal in their only friendly ahead of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses dominated throughout, but lacked quality up front when Rachel Daly wasted a header in the fifth minute, before being substituted at half time.
Substitute Alessia Russo came close on several occasions in the second half, but failed to find that clinical touch, her best chance falling on 77 minutes when she fired wide from close range off Chloe Kelly’s low cross.
England will now kick off their World Cup campaign against Haiti in Group D at 10:30am UK time on Saturday July 22, while Portugal take on the Netherlands 22 hours later at 8:30am. am BST on Sunday 23 July.
domineering but wasteful
35 days since the Women’s Super League season concluded, England showed little sign of rust as they quickly asserted control over Portugal, when Daly came close with a fifth-minute header from Lauren Hemp’s cross that bounced wide into the bottom corner. right.
Ella Toone fired wide on 18 minutes after firing bravely from just outside the box as England continued to dominate, albeit with little final product against a resilient Portuguese defense when Daly cycled a shot over the bar on 34 minutes with a header shot down.
Georgia Stanway nearly gave England the lead just on the stroke of half time, but could only get Hemp’s cross over the crossbar in what was a positive but rudimentary first half for the hosts.
Meanwhile, Portugal failed to create much of an impact on attack, apart from a couple of rudimentary free kicks that went to no avail courtesy of solid defence.
Wiegman responded with three substitutions at half time, as Alex Greenwood, Toone and Daly were replaced by Niamh Charles, Kelly and Russo, hoping to breathe more life into England’s attack.
Wiegman’s gamble almost paid off in the 53rd minute when Hemp headed wide from a corner, but Kelly and Russo saw shots denied in the ensuing minutes, their chances being created by James’ passes into the box.
However, Russo’s shot was blocked by Ana Borges, resulting in a corner kick from which Bronze headed wide to the left post.
Russo again squandered a great opportunity in the 61st minute when he received a lateral pass from Kelly, but finished his shot wide into the bottom right corner.
England continued to dominate the game amid a strong Portuguese defence, when Russo blasted Laura Coombs’s close-range shot across in the 71st minute into the arms of Ines Pereira.
Russo was further frustrated in the 77th minute when Kelly fired a low cross from the right flank, but the 24-year-old was only able to finish off her deflected shot from close range, before again dragging a deflected shot around the right corner to less than a minute. minute later.
Russo and Kelly combined again in the 85th minute when the latter finished off a cross, but Russo could only hit his shot inaccurately off the rebound and Pereira comfortably saved the ball on a loop.
Portugal ultimately held fast to deny England victory as both teams now head to the Women’s World Cup after a stalemate.
England will head Down Under on July 5 to begin acclimating to their surroundings and continue their World Cup preparations, ahead of their Group D opener on July 22 against Haiti at 10:30am local time. from United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, Portugal kick off their World Cup campaign in Group E against the Netherlands on July 23 at 9:30am CET.
England: Mary Earps, Lucy Bronze, Esme Morgan, Jess Carter, Alex Greenwood (Charles 45′), Georgia Stanway (Coombs 65′), Keira Walsh (Zelem 65′), Ella Toone (Kelly 45′), Lauren James, Rachel Daly (Russo 45′), Lauren Hemp (Robinson 81′)
Substitutes: Hannah Hampton, Ellie Roebuck, Niamh Charles, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Laura Coombs, Chloe Kelly, Bethany England, Katie Zelem, Katie Robinson, Alessia Russo, Maya Le Tissier, Lucy Staniforth
Portugal: Inés Pereira, Catarina Amado (Alves 81′), Carole Costa, Diana Gomes, Ana Borges, Tatiana Pinto, Dolores Silva (Jacinto 62′), Andreia Norton (Mendes 81′), Jessica Silva, Kika Nazareth (Capeta 50′) , Diana Silva (Incarnation 62′)
Substitutes: Patricia Morais, Rute Costa, Lucia Alves, Silvia Rebelo, Joana Marchao, Andreia Jacinto, Ana Rute, Fatima Pinto, Ana Seica, Carolina Mendes, Ana Capeta, Telma Encarnacao, Alicia Correia
Referee: Esther Staubli (Switzerland)