Earps captains England in draw with Portugal

Monday 03 July 2023 09:00

Manchester United goalkeeper Mary Earps captained England on Saturday 1 July as the Lionesses were held to a 0-0 draw by Portugal.

Sarina Wiegman’s side are stepping up preparations for the upcoming 2023 Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, where they are hoping to replicate the success of last summer that saw them win the European Championships on home soil. 

Despite being unable to come away with the victory in Stadium MK, in Milton Keyne, it was a special afternoon for Earps.

The United goalkeeper was awarded the honour of captaining her side in the absence of Chelsea defender Millie Bright.

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Eight players are in contention to represent their countries in Australia and New Zealand this summer.

Bright is currently working her way back to full fitness following an injury that halted her 2022/23 campaign with the Blues and, should she not be ready in time for England’s World Cup curtain-raiser against Haiti on 22 July, Earps could be called upon to lead the Lionesses once more. 

It has been quite the year for our no.27, who helping her nation to glory last summer. She also showed her heroics for Wiegman’s side once more in the first-ever women’s Finalissima in April. 

Earps was named FIFA’s ‘The Best’ women's goalkeeper of the year, and finished the 2022/23 season with a record number of clean sheets in a single Women’s Super League campaign.

Our shot-stopper was joined in the Lionesses' starting XI by Reds team-mate Ella Toone, while United captain Katie Zelem came on in 65th-minute.

Reds defender Maya Le Tissier, who is on England’s standby list for the World Cup, was an unused substitute. 

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Before heading Down Under for the World Cup, our Lionesses quartet will face Canada in a behind-closed-doors friendly on 14 July. There is, of course, more United interest in this clash as Jayde Riviere and Adriana Leon could feature for the Canadians. 

Away from the World Cup, both Wales and Scotland will play a handful of international friendlies. 

Hayley Ladd, Carrie Jones, and Safia Middleton-Patel could all feature for the Dragons as they take on reigning world champions the USA on 9 July. 

Scottish Reds Martha Thomas and Kirsty Hanson have been called up for their upcoming friendlies against Northern Ireland (14 July) and Finland (18 July). 

9 July: United States v Wales, 21:00 BST 
14 July: England v Canada (BCD)
14 July: Scotland v Northern Ireland, 19:35 BST 
18 July: Finland v Scotland, 17:00 BST