Match ends, England 1, Brazil 0.
England women 1-0 Brazil women: Fran Kirby's early goal gives Lionesses win
England manager Phil Neville said he would take Fran Kirby in his team above six-time world player of the year Marta, after the Chelsea striker's second-minute header gave her side an impressive victory over Brazil.
Kirby's 11th international goal was expertly finished at the near post from a delightful cross by the excellent Nikita Parris and set the tone for a stylish attacking display.
Neville had implored his team to treat the match against the world's eighth best side at Meadow Lane as a World Cup quarter-final and prove they are contenders for next year's tournament in France.
Having strolled through qualification for next summer's World Cup in France without losing a game, Neville is mindful of sterner tests to come.
But England, who face Australia at Craven Cottage on Tuesday, were dominant from the start, with Parris and Kirby particularly dangerous.
Parris could easily have had a hat-trick, Kirby was a constant menace playing in the number 10 role, while Rachel Daly also came close to adding to the lead on several occasions.
Brazil offered little in attack, although their cause was not helped by an injury to Marta midway through the first half.
The closest they came was when keeper Carly Telford had to make a fine one-on-one save to deny Marta's replacement Raquel.
"The quality of the football we're playing now is exciting," said Neville.
"The players excite me. I'd take my number 10 [Fran Kirby] over Brazil's number 10 [Marta] every day, that's for sure.
"There was a period after half-time where I thought she was world class."
Perhaps the only concern for Neville in a fine performance will be the inability to take their chances and also make the most of numerous promising situations.
"I'm disappointed we didn't score more than we did," said Neville. "We weren't ruthless enough in front of goal. The players are disappointed in the dressing room. We didn't finish with composure.
"There's more room for improvement."
Kirby almost scored a carbon copy second goal from another jinking Parris run, but it was Manchester City winger Parris and Daly who had the bulk of the chances on a bitterly cold day in Nottingham.
Daly shot over from a Kirby pull-back, was off target with another effort and was unlucky not to score with a fierce first-time strike after the break that was brilliantly kept out by Barbara.
Parris excelled, with Brazil never getting to grips with her pace and direct running. She should have had at least a couple of goals to show for her efforts, but shot wide from 20 yards and scooped another effort over the bar after seeing her initial attempt blocked.
Kirby the perfect 10
Match-winner Kirby revelled in the number 10 role, playing with freedom and ensuring England had a threat in every attacking area.
Parris and Toni Duggan brought width, Daly held the ball up and provided the focal point that allowed Kirby to find space in central areas.
It was different to the more traditional centre-forward role she plays for Chelsea, but her performance suggests it is one she can slip into with ease and that she is more than just one of the most feared goalscorers of her generation.
Bright and bold at the back
For all England's attacking threat, there was also plenty to admire defensively.
The risky high-press and brave attacking selection will always leave the potential for being caught out at the back.
But the system stood firm, aside from a couple of individual errors, notably when Alex Greenwood's sloppy backpass meant Telford had to make rush from her goal to beat away Raquel's shot.
Jordan Nobbs showed she has the tenacity and intelligence to provide cover in front of a back four so well marshalled by the imposing figure of Chelsea's Millie Bright.
Bright played a key role alongside the ever-reliable Steph Houghton, the former making full use of her passing range and ability to instigate attacks.
- 2BronzeBooked at 45mins
- 4NobbsSubstituted forWilliamsat 70'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 7ParrisSubstituted forStaniforthat 74'minutes
- 10KirbySubstituted forLawleyat 75'minutes
- 11DugganSubstituted forMeadat 60'minutes
- 1do Monte Barbosa
- 14Santos de Oliveira
- 3Benites SoaresSubstituted forSantos Silvaat 41'minutes
- 21Hickmann AlvesSubstituted forSousa Feitozaat 75'minutes
- 22Martins PereiraSubstituted forDias Gomesat 66'minutes
- 9de OliveiraSubstituted forNicoli Israel Ferrazat 57'minutes
- 8Maciel MotaSubstituted forCavalari Machryat 77'minutes
- 5de Moraes Rosa Moreno
- 7Alves da Silva
- 19da Silva
- 10Vieira da SilvaSubstituted forFernandes dos Santosat 22'minutes
- 2Barbosa Medeiros
- 4Santos Silva
- 6Dias Gomes
- 11de Souza Reguera
- 12Villares Reis
- 13Aguiar da Silva
- 15Sousa Feitoza
- 16da Silva Ferreira
- 17Cavalari Machry
- 18Nicoli Israel Ferraz
- 20Fernandes dos Santos
- Sandra Braz Bastos
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, England 1, Brazil 0.
Attempt blocked. Kerolin (Brazil) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Andressa Alves.
Attempt missed. Tamires (Brazil) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a set piece situation.
Fara Williams (England) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Fara Williams (England).
Raquel (Brazil) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Beth Mead (England).
Andressa Alves (Brazil) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Corner, Brazil. Conceded by Alex Greenwood.
Attempt blocked. Kerolin (Brazil) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Raquel.
Attempt missed. Beth Mead (England) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left following a corner.
Corner, England. Conceded by Kathellen.
Attempt saved. Rachel Daly (England) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Alex Greenwood with a cross.
Attempt blocked. Beth Mead (England) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Stephanie Houghton.
Corner, England. Conceded by Daiane.
Attempt blocked. Fara Williams (England) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Beth Mead.
Attempt saved. Lucy Staniforth (England) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lucy Bronze with a cross.
Substitution, Brazil. Andressinha replaces Formiga.
Substitution, Brazil. Kathellen replaces Mônica because of an injury.
Substitution, England. Melissa Lawley replaces Francesca Kirby.
Substitution, England. Lucy Staniforth replaces Nikita Parris.
Attempt saved. Rachel Daly (England) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Beth Mead.
Attempt saved. Francesca Kirby (England) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lucy Bronze.
Substitution, England. Fara Williams replaces Jordan Nobbs.
Jordan Nobbs (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Raquel (Brazil).
Foul by Rachel Daly (England).
Andressa Alves (Brazil) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Brazil. Tamires replaces Camila.
Jordan Nobbs (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Raquel (Brazil).
Stephanie Houghton (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Raquel (Brazil).
Hand ball by Formiga (Brazil).
Foul by Nikita Parris (England).
Formiga (Brazil) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, England. Beth Mead replaces Toni Duggan.
Attempt saved. Andressa Alves (Brazil) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Substitution, Brazil. Kerolin replaces Debinha.