Eugénie Le Sommer’s first-half stunner consigned England to a 1-0 defeat to France in their opening match of the Women’s World Cup in Canada.
The Three Lionesses fell behind just before the half-hour mark and rarely threatened an equaliser against one of the favourites for the tournament.
Mark Sampson’s girls will be hoping to recover when they face Mexico on Saturday, in what is now a crucial Group F clash.
England sat deep and starved France, who comfortably beat them 3-0 in Euro 2013, of opportunities until Louisa Necib tested Karen Bardsley from a free-kick and Le Sommer shot wide via a deflection.
France took the lead not long after, with the aid of a couple of England errors.
Katie Chapman gave the ball away in her own half and Le Sommer was quick to collect it off a teammate and fire a swerving shot through the hands of Bardsley at her near post from 20 yards out.
Hard-working England kept every France player on their toes, except for goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi, whose only real scare came when she flapped at a cross and Chapman chipped wide of the open goal.
They may have been thrown a lifeline when Camille Abily appeared to elbow defender Laura Bassett to the floor, but the referee allowed the France playmaker to escape unpunished.
But the most that the Three Lionesses could manage in the closing stages were brief glimpses of goal for Fran Kirby and Eniola Aluko, neither of which could earn them an unlikely point.