Women’s European champions England defeated the World champions the USA in a friendly at Wembley Stadium in an early test for both sides ahead of next year’s World Cup.

Lauren Hemp and Georgia Stanway found the net for the hosts to cancel out Sophia Smith’s equaliser as 76,893 spectators watched on.

In a game akin to the “Finalisima”, England went ahead early after Beth Mead’s cross found Hemp on the edge of the six-yard box leaving her with an easy chance for a tap-in to give her side the lead.

The World Cup winners restored parity in the 28th minute Smith smashed the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area.

England retook the lead just five minutes later when Hailie Mace was adjudged to have fouled Lucy Bronze after a VAR check and Stanway put away the resultant penalty.

The USA had the ball in the back of the net again in the 34th minute after Megan Rapinoe set up Trinity Rodman who fired home from inside the box in but the goal was disallowed by VAR for offside in the build-up.

The second half was a scrappier affair as both teams let slip gild edged chances starting with Smith who put her effort wide in the 47th minute before Chloe Kelly’s miss was followed by Barcelona’s Lucy Brzone failing to find the target.

Megan Rapinoe then went close to scoring but her shot was saved by England’s Millie Bright. VAR intervened one last time in the 80th minute to deny the USA a penalty as England hung on for a memorable win at Wembley.

England will host the Czech Republic in their next friendly on October 11th when the USA team travels to Spain.

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