England were unable to end their latest international camp on a high after they suffered a defeat in Stoke on Tuesday night. The Lionesses played host to Bev Priestman's Canada at the bet365 Stadium, looking to bounce back from their 3-0 loss to France in Caen last week.
However, Hege Riise's frailties continued to show as England leaked two goals through defensive errors. The Canadians capitalised on a Demi Stokes error after just three minutes before putting the game to bed in the second half after Karen Bardsley's blunder in the box.
GiveMeSport Women looks at the three major talking points following England's latest international meeting...
Lauren Hemp continues to shine
Despite not being able to create many chances against the Canadians, England still managed to show flashes of creativity through the match. Lauren Hemp was once again one of the main contributors to the Lionesses' attack, dominating the left flank with her unyielding pace and trademark footwork.
The Manchester City starlet started the match and made her presence known to the Canadian defence from the first whistle. Whilst the opposition backline remained tight and compact, Hemp still caused a lot of problems with her dribbling and was seen drifting from the left into a more central role on several occasions.
The 20-year-old has the ability to create chances out of nothing and her hard work on the pitch in Stoke produced some of England's best chances at finding a goal. Not only did she drive forwards but she tracked back to challenge Canada's attackers and steal the ball off them to regain possession for her side.
Hemp had a golden chance to find the back of the net in the second half after latching onto an error in midfield, but a stunning challenge from Vanessa Gilles denied her what would have been a memorable goal.
Her work ethic is unwavering for both club and country and despite being one of the youngest in this senior England side, she stands a good chance of being selected for major tournaments moving forwards.
Janine Beckie pushes for more chances
Like Hemp, her Man City teammate asserted her authority on the match last night. Janine Beckie made the starting lineup for Canada and used her effortless versatility to get up and down the wing as she contributed to both the attack and defence.
Beckie had pace to burn for the entire 90 minutes, making the England backline sweat every time she got hold of the ball. Like Hemp, she showcased City's typical attacking style with her quick feet and keen eye for creativity.
The 26-year-old has started the last two matches under Gareth Taylor, scoring against both Barcelona in the Champions League and Spurs in the WSL. However, she is often more of a rotational player who comes on as a substitute. Her latest performance should put her in the running for a more cemented place in the City starting XI.
Jordan Nobbs deserves Team GB spot
Riise will be using these matches to decide which England players she wants to take to Tokyo this summer to help make up the Team GB squad. The Norwegian has been heavily rotating her Lionesses team to see who deserves a spot on the plane. She has a plethora of talent to choose from, ranging from veterans of the game to the rising stars of the WSL.
Whilst England may not have registered a win this camp, it has given Riise a lot to think about. The match against Canada certainly highlighted Jordan Nobbs as a strong contender for the Team GB squad.
The Arsenal midfielder left absolutely nothing out on the pitch on Tuesday. Behind only Hemp's late driving attempt, Nobbs' free-kick that ricocheted off the woodwork was one of the only big chances the Lionesses had to score. A side competing in the Olympics will need a player like Nobbs who can produce something from long-range and catch the goalkeeper off guard.
But it wasn't just her crack at goal that made the playmaker stand out. She put in an admirable shift in the middle of the park, throwing in tackles, pinging in crosses and trying to push forwards against the Canada backline. Nobbs emptied the tank in Stoke, which is something she does week in, week out for Arsenal too.
Riise simply must consider adding the well-rounded 28-year-old to her ranks as she prepares to challenge in Tokyo.News Now - Sport News