England 1 Brazil 2: Yorkshire hosts Middlesbrough deliver record home crowd for Lionesses outside of Wembley

Whitby-born England international Beth Mead. PIC: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images.
Whitby-born England international Beth Mead. PIC: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images.
Have your say

THE NORTH east showed their appetite for the women's game as almost 30,000 fans cheered on England in their 2-1 defeat to Brazil.

Tickets for the friendly clash at the Riverside Stadium sold out earlier in the week as Brazil produced a smash and grab performance against Phil Neville's side on Saturday afternoon.

Debinha scored twice to help Brazil to victory. PIC: Miguel Schincariol/Getty Images.

Debinha scored twice to help Brazil to victory. PIC: Miguel Schincariol/Getty Images.

Debinha bagged a brace for Brazil as a dominant England were left to rue a host of missed chances in Middlesbrough.

Bethany England pulled a late goal back for the Lionesses but the damage had already been done.

The last time the Lionesses visited Yorkshire, they were beaten 2-0 by Sweden in front of 9,561 people at Rotherham United's 12,000-capacity New York Stadium.

A total of 29,238 supporters turned out at the Riverside, highlighting the incredible upward trajectory the women's game has been on since the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France.

The UEFA Women's Euro 2021 Championships will be held in England but no venues across the north east have been selected to host games.

Yorkshire will still have two grounds featured at the tournament, with Sheffield United's Bramall Lane and the New York Stadium both set to welcome the best international sides from across Europe.

The lack of European Championship games will come as a frustration for the people in this far corner of Yorkshire - and their north-east neighbours in Sunderland, Durham and Newcastle.

The 12-000-seater Leigh Sports Village and the Manchester City Academy Stadium - which only holds 7,000 - will both host games at the tournament.

Seven of the Lionesses World Cup squad hail from the north east, including Whitby-born Arsenal striker Beth Mead.

And the fact that no games will be played in the region in the summer of 2021 feels like a real trick has been missed.

England dominated this clash and should have been ahead by the break.

Jodie Taylor had the ball in the net after scrambling home Mead's cross but the offside flag was - rightly - raised to disallow the goal and cut short the celebrations.

Taylor had a second chance to open her account when Nikita Parris's pass found its way through the defence but the Reign FC striker chipped her effort over the bar.

Whitby's Mead almost scored a goal in the town where she started her football career, dribbling past Oliveira Giovanna and Feitoza Kathellen before curling an effort around the far post.

The Arsenal striker had another opportunity to put the Lionesses in front but she couldn't get a firm connection on Jordan Nobbs ball across the box.

Brazil struggled to cope with the width provided by Mead and Parris while the Lionesses back four dictated the pace of the game with calmness and composure on the ball.

However, a triple change after the interval had the desired affect for the South American visitors as they took the lead on 49 minutes.

Mary Earps will have been disappointed with the opener as Debinha's header from the centre of the box squeezed under the Manchester United keeper and trickled over the line.

The Brazil number nine grabbed her second with just over 20 minutes remaining as her shot looped over Earps and into the back of the net.

Chelsea forward Bethany England gave the 29,000-strong crowd something to cheer on 81 minutes when her brilliant header looped into the far corner to beat Barbosa Barbara.

The defeat prolongs England's wait for a win, with the Lionesses now winless in their last five outings.

Their last victory came in their 3-0 World Cup quarter final triumph over Norway.

They will have the chance to rectify that record when they travel to face Portugal in Setúbal on Tuesday night.

England: Earps; Bronze, Houghton, Williamson, Greenwood; Walsh, Scott; Nobbs (Daly 58), Parris (Stainforth 74), Mead; Taylor (England 74). Unused substitutes: Telford, Roebuck, Mannion, Bonner, Lawley.

Brazil: Barbara; Giovanna (Monica 45), Erika, Kathellen, Tamires; Debinha, Forminga (Thaisa 71), Luana (Victoria Kristine 87), Marta (Maria 45); Chu (Ludmila 45), Beatriz (Milene 71). Unused substitutes: Aline, Leticia, Poliana, Bruna Beatriz, Andressa, Daiane.

Referee: Riem Hussein (Germany).