England were roundly beaten by two-time World Cup winners Germany in a historic women’s match at Wembley.
An England record crowd of 45,619 watched the national team’s first standalone game at the home of English football.
But the hosts were given a lesson by the reigning European champions, who England have never beaten in 20 attempts.
Germany – well organised, efficient passers of the ball and clinical finishers – sealed the victory before half-time, striker Celia Sasic scoring two after an own goal by England defender Alex Scott had sent them on their way.
The friendly was organised as a test ahead of next year’s Fifa Women’s World Cup to gauge where England were against one of the best teams in the world.
And, on this evidence, there will need to be a lot of improvements if Mark Sampson’s side are to advance beyond the quarter-finals, which is the furthest they have reached on three previous occasions.
Birmingham striker Karen Carney celebrated her 100th cap for England and there was a frenetic opening with the home side dispossessing Germany from the kick-off, leading to Jordan Nobbs rattling the crossbar after eight seconds.
But, within six minutes, Germany were ahead, the ball coming off Scott at an acute angle and into the net after pressure from Simone Laudehr, who was initially credited with the goal
They doubled their lead four minutes later after an England mix-up on the halfway line which let in Frankfurt striker Sasic. After a solo run she finished coolly for her 55th international goal.
England had a period of pressure during the closing stages of the first half with goalkeeper Almuth Schult, a Champions League winner with Wolfsburg, holding onto a half-volley from England’s most capped player Fara Williams.
But they were ripped apart again just before half-time when Sasic scored a simple header from Tabea Kemme’s cross.
England played better in the second half but they rarely troubled Schult, their best chance coming in injury time when substitute Jill Scott fired into the side netting.
England are setting up another home friendly – against world number-one ranked team the United States – before the World Cup in Canada begins in June.