Women's International Friendlies

France women 1-0 England women

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France Women 1-0 England Women: Lionesses beaten in first match since Sampson sacking

England ended a tumultuous week for the women's game with a 1-0 friendly defeat against 2019 World Cup hosts France.

The match - England's first under interim coach Mo Marley - was a cagey affair with few clear-cut chances before Viviane Asseyi capitalised on goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain's mistake to snatch victory.

On Wednesday, the Football Association was forced to apologise to two players for racially discriminatory remarks by previous England boss Mark Sampson.

Sampson was sacked in September following evidence of "inappropriate and unacceptable" behaviour with female players in a previous job.

England goalkeeping coach Lee Kendall - under investigation for alleged "unacceptable behaviour" towards striker Eni Aluko - was not at the match in Valenciennes.

In what was a rematch of this summer's Euro 2017 quarter-final, which England won 1-0, Marley's side looked astute defensively and frustrated a partisan French crowd for long periods.

But when Chamberlain misjudged a late cross, Marseille's Asseyi nodded into an empty net for a simple finish which was cruel on the visitors.

Business, but not as usual

The women's game has not known a week like it.

And the saga took a new turn in the build-up to kick-off, with goalkeeping coach Kendall absent after becoming the subject of an FA investigation. Aluko alleges that the 36-year-old spoke to her in a fake Caribbean accent.

His place in Valenciennes was taken by men's under-21 goalkeeping coach Tim Dittmer.

Lee Kendell
Lee Kendall played for Crystal Palace and Cardiff City

Aluko gave evidence to a Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee on Wednesday in which the FA apologised for comments made to Aluko and team-mate Drew Spence by Sampson.

Interim boss Marley has left the door open for Aluko - who has not played for England since April 2016 - to make an international return in the future, saying she would "100%" consider picking the Chelsea striker.

The FA's head of women's football, Baroness Sue Campbell, was in attendance at the Stade du Hainaut and said that chief executive Martin Glenn is "doing a very good job", despite MP Damian Collins saying there were "serious doubts" whether the FA's bosses were fit to continue.

Marley's audition starts with defeat

Mo Marley
Mo Marley is boss of the England Under-19 side, and was previously in charge of Everton Ladies

The investigations into the conduct of key figures at the FA has seen discussion over the process of recruiting Sampson's successor fall into the background.

But though victory - in what was a poor match - slightly flattered the hosts, it did little to boost Marley's case for taking on the role full-time, with interviews for the position scheduled for 4 December.

The 50-year-old won 42 caps for the Lionesses as a player and has built her reputation with England's age-group sides.

However, her first teamsheet saw a reversion to two seasoned campaigners, with record cap-holder Fara Williams and fellow midfielder Jill Scott recalled in place of Jade Moore and the injured Fran Kirby.

Scoring opportunities were at a premium, with Jodie Taylor floating a shot over from 20 yards, before Valerie Gauvin's header was tipped around the post by Chamberlain before half-time.

Two substitutes combined as England appealed for a penalty five minutes from time, with Nikita Parris claiming her ankles had been clipped as she tried to latch onto Isobel Christiansen's cut-back.

However, the referee was not swayed by their appeals and minutes later Asseyi accepted the invitation of an open goal after Chamberlain's error to win the match.

'Is this something I want to do long-term?' - what they said

England interim head coach Mo Marley: "I am really happy with what they have done. We've only had a couple of training sessions together; obviously we're trying to embed a few new things with the girls.

It's more of a building block. We've shown that we can do it against one of the best teams in the world, but it's more about us now and how we can be better at doing that.

"Lots of things have happened recently and it's been a tough time for all the players.

"When it is time and it is right, maybe I'll be able to reflect on myself and say: 'Is this something I want to do long-term or do I just want to play a part in the support role with helping the next generation?'"

Player of the match - Siobhan Chamberlain (England)

Siobhan Chamberlain
Though at fault for the only goal, Liverpool goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain impressed - denying Valerie Gauvin and Eugenie Le Sommer either side of half-time

What's next?

England resume their 2019 Women's World Cup qualifying campaign with two matches on home soil next month.

The Lionesses, who won their first qualifying game against Russia 6-0, meet Bosnia-Herzegovina in Walsall on Friday, 24 November before hosting Kazakhstan at Colchester United on Tuesday, 28 November (both 19:05 GMT)



  • 16Bouhaddi
  • 17Torrent
  • 8Cissoko
  • 3Renard
  • 7Majri
  • 23Geyoro
  • 10Diallo
  • 20DianiSubstituted forAsseyiat 81'minutes
  • 14JaurenaSubstituted forLe Garrecat 69'minutes
  • 9Le Sommer
  • 12GauvinSubstituted forSarrat 69'minutes


  • 1Launay
  • 2Lorgere
  • 4Georges
  • 5Cascarino
  • 6Henry
  • 11Sarr
  • 13Catala
  • 15Bussaglia
  • 18Asseyi
  • 19Mbock Bathy
  • 22Le Garrec


  • 1Chamberlain
  • 2Bronze
  • 5Houghton
  • 6Bright
  • 3Stokes
  • 10Nobbs
  • 4WilliamsBooked at 39minsSubstituted forMooreat 61'minutes
  • 7CarneySubstituted forLawleyat 62'minutes
  • 8Scott
  • 11DugganSubstituted forChristiansenat 84'minutes
  • 9TaylorSubstituted forParrisat 84'minutes


  • 12Greenwood
  • 13Telford
  • 14Moore
  • 15Stoney
  • 16Bonner
  • 17Parris
  • 18Christiansen
  • 19Potter
  • 20Lawley
  • 21Earps
  • 22Carter
  • 23Carter

Match Stats

Home TeamFranceAway TeamEngland
Shots on Target

Live Text

Match ends, France 1, England 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, France 1, England 0.

Attempt missed. Stephanie Houghton (England) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

Jill Scott (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Onema Grace Geyoro (France).

Jordan Nobbs (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ouleymata Sarr (France).


Goal! France 1, England 0. Viviane Asseyi (France) header from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Amel Majri with a cross.

Foul by Jade Moore (England).

Eugénie Le Sommer (France) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Jade Moore (England).

Eugénie Le Sommer (France) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Millie Bright (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ouleymata Sarr (France).

Corner, England. Conceded by Viviane Asseyi.


Substitution, England. Isobel Christiansen replaces Toni Duggan.


Substitution, England. Nikita Parris replaces Jodie Taylor.


Substitution, France. Viviane Asseyi replaces Kadidiatou Diani.

Attempt saved. Léa Le Garrec (France) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Corner, England. Conceded by Marion Torrent.

Attempt missed. Ouleymata Sarr (France) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Kadidiatou Diani.

Melissa Lawley (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Aminata Diallo (France).

Foul by Demi Stokes (England).

Marion Torrent (France) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Aminata Diallo (France) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Amel Majri with a cross.

Corner, France. Conceded by Stephanie Houghton.


Substitution, France. Léa Le Garrec replaces Ines Jaurena.


Substitution, France. Ouleymata Sarr replaces Valerie Gauvin.

Offside, England. Jordan Nobbs tries a through ball, but Jodie Taylor is caught offside.

Foul by Millie Bright (England).

Valerie Gauvin (France) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Toni Duggan (England) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Marion Torrent (France).

Foul by Jill Scott (England).

Onema Grace Geyoro (France) wins a free kick on the right wing.


Substitution, England. Melissa Lawley replaces Karen Carney.


Substitution, England. Jade Moore replaces Fara Williams.

Attempt missed. Aminata Diallo (France) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Ines Jaurena following a corner.

Corner, France. Conceded by Siobhan Chamberlain.


Scores, Results & Fixtures

Friday 20th October 2017

As It Stood

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