The opening match in the SheBelieves Cup looked to be heading for a draw between Germany and France until the 83rd minute when France failed to clear a corner and right back Leonie Maier took the opportunity to fire the ball into the net to give Germany a 1-0 win.
Next up in the double header at Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Florida was the tie the locals were waiting for World Champions USA against England.
As in the last occasion these two had met, in February last year at Milton Keynes the game had few clear cut chances and the winning goal was created out of nothing by Crystal Dunn who’d come on as substitute just ten minutes earlier. Dunn collected a pass from Meghan Klingenberg and created space for herself by spinning away from the defender and rifled the ball into the top corner well out of Karen Bardsley’s reach.
England will be disappointed but they come into this tournament having last played in November and it is a measure of how far the team has come that they now expect encounters with the top teams in the world to be winnable.
The team now go on to Nashville where they will Germany on Sunday with USA and France as part of the second double-header in this tournament.
USA: 1 Hope Solo, 2 Mallory Pugh, 4 Becky Sauerbrunn, 5 Kelley O’Hara, 7 Meghan Klingenberg, 10 Carli Lloyd (C), 13 Alex Morgan, 14 Morgan Brian, 15 Emily Sonnett, 17 Tobin Heath, 22 Lindsey Horan.
Substitutes: 12 Christen Press for Horan 63, 16 Crystal Dunn for Pugh 67, 8 Julie Johnson for Morgan 80, 11 Ali Krieger for O’Hara 80, 6 Whitney Engen for Klingenberg 90.
Substitutes not used: 3 Samantha Mewis , 9 Heather O’Reilly, 18 Ashlyn Harris, 19 Jaelene Hinkle, 20 Lauren Barnes, 21 Alyssa Naeher.
Goal: Dunn 72
Head coach: Jill Ellis
England (4-4-2): 1 Karen Bardsley (Manchester City); 2 Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), 5 Steph Houghton (C; Manchester City), 6 Gilly Flaherty (Chelsea), 3 Alex Greenwood (Liverpool); 4 Fara Williams (Arsenal), 7 Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), 8 Jill Scott (Manchester City), 11 Demi Stokes (Manchester City); 19 Toni Duggan (Manchester City), 9 Jodie Taylor (Portland Thorns).
Substitutes: 18 Isobel Christiansen (Manchester City) for Greenwood 65, 10 Karen Carney (Chelsea) for Williams 77, 22 Fran Kirby (Chelsea) for Taylor 78, 20 Eniola Aluko (Chelsea) for Duggan 88.
Substitutes not used: 12 Alex Scott (Arsenal), 13 Siobhan Chamberlain (Liverpool), 14 Claire Rafferty (Chelsea), 15 Casey Stoney (Arsenal), 16 Laura Bassett (Notts County), 17 Katie Chapman (Chelsea), 21 Carly Telford (Notts County), 23 Gemma Davison (Chelsea).
Head coach: Mark Sampson
Referee: Tatiana Guzman (NIC)
You can find out more about the England team a the FA site here.