Women's International Friendlies

England Women 0-2 Sweden Women: Lionesses lose in skipper Steph Houghton's 100th cap

By Tom Garry at New York StadiumBBC Sport
'This is for my family' - Houghton reaches 100 England caps

Phil Neville says his England Women side "needed" their loss to Sweden to give them a "jolt" as they prepare for next summer's World Cup.

The Lionesses were beaten on home soil for the first time since 2015 as Sweden won Sunday's friendly 2-0 in Rotherham.

Sofia Jakobsson curled Sweden into the lead before Anna Anvegard hooked in the second to put a dampener on the day England skipper Steph Houghton won her 100th cap.

"With 20 minutes to go, I was actually enjoying the fact that maybe we all should suffer," head coach Neville told BBC Sport.

"Sometimes in life you have got to put yourself through a little bit of pain to get where you want to.

"For the last 12 months everything has been going really smoothly and there's a massive euphoria, and rightly so. But along the way, you're going to get bumps. This feels like a bump in the road, and a jolt for us.

"Today was what we needed. I do think that we needed it, the whole of the FA women's division.

"It's just a little bump in the road to remind everyone that no one is going to just give us the World Cup. We've got to keep working hard."

Sweden celebrate Anna Anvegard's close-range strike that put the visitors 2-0 ahead
Sweden celebrate Anna Anvegard's close-range strike that put the visitors 2-0 ahead

The defeat was Neville's second loss as head coach, and first at home, and saw the Lionesses end 2018 with seven wins, three draws and two losses from his 12 games in charge.

Up against a Swedish side ranked ninth in the world, England - who sit third in Fifa's rankings - were beaten at home for the first time since a 1-0 loss to the USA at Stadium MK in February 2015.

Robust and well-organised Sweden, who won silver at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, gave the hosts a masterclass in defending at times, on a day when two moments of relatively uncharacteristically sloppy play at the back cost the Lionesses.

England dominated after the break, as they tried to get back in the game, but substitute Toni Duggan's fizzing effort was saved and the Women's Super League's new record scorer Nikita Parris headed wide at the far post.

Swedes spoil skipper Houghton's special day

Steph Houghton.
England skipper Steph Houghton poses for some selfies with England fans at the New York Stadium

It was not the celebration many of the lively 9,561 fans at Rotherham's New York Stadium were hoping to see on the day Houghton reached 100 senior international appearances.

The Manchester City centre-back has been a stalwart for the Lionesses since she won her first cap against Russia in March 2007.

Her tenure as captain has seen the side reach consecutive semi-finals at major tournaments, including a third-placed finish at the 2015 World Cup in Canada.

On 99 caps before this week, she had been left out of Thursday's 3-0 win in Austria by Neville, who wanted the 30-year-old to enjoy reaching her century milestone on home soil.



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Telford
  • 2BronzeBooked at 27mins
  • 5Houghton
  • 6Bright
  • 3Greenwood
  • 8ScottSubstituted forStaniforthat 83'minutes
  • 4ChristiansenSubstituted forStanwayat 73'minutes
  • 7Parris
  • 10Nobbs
  • 11MeadSubstituted forDugganat 45'minutes
  • 9DalySubstituted forLawleyat 73'minutes


  • 12Blundell
  • 13Earps
  • 14McManus
  • 15Williamson
  • 16George
  • 17Staniforth
  • 18Duggan
  • 19Carney
  • 20Stanway
  • 21Roebuck
  • 22Lawley
  • 23Ubogagu


Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Lindahl
  • 13Ilestedt
  • 3Sembrant
  • 6Eriksson
  • 15SamuelssonSubstituted forBjornat 61'minutes
  • 23RubenssonSubstituted forRoddarat 90+3'minutes
  • 17SegerSubstituted forFolkessonat 79'minutes
  • 2Andersson
  • 10JakobssonSubstituted forHurtigat 79'minutes
  • 9AsllaniSubstituted forSchoughat 90+3'minutes
  • 19AnvegardSubstituted forRolföat 61'minutes


  • 5Bjorn
  • 7Karlenäs
  • 8Hurtig
  • 12Andersson
  • 14Folkesson
  • 16Carlsson
  • 18Rolfö
  • 20Roddar
  • 21Musovic
  • 22Schough
  • 24Spetsmark

Match Stats

Home TeamEnglandAway TeamSweden
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, England 0, Sweden 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, England 0, Sweden 2.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Alex Greenwood (England).

  4. Post update

    Fridolina Rolfö (Sweden) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Sweden. Olivia Schough replaces Kosovare Asllani.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Sweden. Julia Roddar replaces Elin Rubensson.

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Toni Duggan (England) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Nikita Parris with a cross.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Georgia Stanway (England).

  9. Post update

    Amanda Ilestedt (Sweden) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Nikita Parris (England) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Georgia Stanway.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, England. Lucy Staniforth replaces Jill Scott.

  12. Post update

    Toni Duggan (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Magdalena Eriksson (Sweden).

  14. Post update

    Corner, Sweden. Conceded by Carly Telford.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Fridolina Rolfö (Sweden) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Nathalie Bjorn.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Sweden. Lina Hurtig replaces Sofia Jakobsson.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Sweden. Hanna Folkesson replaces Caroline Seger.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Jordan Nobbs (England).

  19. Post update

    Fridolina Rolfö (Sweden) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Jill Scott (England).

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 11th November 2018

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