Everton were edged 1-0 at Manchester United in a closely-fought pre-season friendly on Sunday.
Lucia Garcia struck the only goal of the game 10 minutes from time at United’s Carrington training complex, but Blues boss Brian Sorensen will have been encouraged by his team’s positive performance.
Everton started the game strongly, looking comfortable with the ball and showing intent to go forward.
Lucy Graham had the first chance of the game 10 minutes in after good build up down the left wing and a precise pass from Jess Park, however, but her effort was saved comfortably by United stopper Mary Earps.
Park was soon involved again as she skipped past two United defenders down the right and picked out Hanna Bennison in the box, but the Swede’s shot failed to threaten the United goal.
United gradually started to become a threat in the game, but Everton defended well and continued to look bright in attack, with Karen Holmgaard seeing a powerful low effort from distance stopped.
Everton goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan was forced into action for the first time in the afternoon when she saved low at her near post from Nikita Parris’s low drive.
United failed to capitalise on their best chance of the first half as Ella Toone found space on the left-hand side of the penalty area, but her effort failed to hit the target.
The Manchester side continued to pressure, and Blues centre-back Gabby George made a last-ditch interception to halt fast counter-attack.
George started the second half strongly, making a positive run from her own half through to the United penalty area, even managing to get a shot away while she looked to have had her shirt pulled.
Rikke Sevecke was then forced into some good defending, as she bravely blocked a dangerous United effort on goal.
Brosnan kept the scores level with an excellent low save one-v-one as United again looked to hit on the counter.
But it was the home side who took the lead on 80 minutes as Garcia latched onto a fantastic pass to slot past Brosnan.
Everton striker Katja Snoeijs had a chance to equalise late on but her low shot was saved well by Earps as United saw out the victory.