Lianne Sanderson's 67th-minute goal lifted England to a 1-0 win over Canada in the final of the Cyprus Cup on Wednesday.
The goal was the first given up by Canada at the women's soccer tournament after victories over Scotland, South Korea and Italy.
The loss also ended Canada's eight-game unbeaten streak.
It was a solid effort,” said head coach John Herdman after the match. “The last two times we faced England they were the better team, but I think it was the opposite today – we played really well. I’m disappointed for the girls. We had a few good opportunities early in the game, and I think we could have taken one and changed the outcome.”
Canada was bidding for its fourth title at the Cyprus Cup. The championship was the third for England, which finished the tournament with three wins and a tie.
Captain Christine Sinclair echoed the coaches’ view that the tournament was a good learning environment for the team.
“I think we made a lot of progress in this tournament, showed a lot of growth” she said. “I thought we outplayed England in the final. It was a tough one to lose.”
Canada conceded only one goal in five matches in Cyprus, but in the end it was the goal that got away which hurt them most.
“I think we take pride in our defence and it was that one goal that lost us the tournament,” said defender Rhian Wilkinson. “We had a strong tournament, there were a lot of good performances here and a lot of growth and movement on the team, but our goal was to win this tournament and that didn’t happen, so we’re frustrated and we’ll take our learning’s and we’ll take our cuts and our wounds and head home and learn from it.”
As Canada continues to prepare for the FIFA 2015 Women’s World Cup, Herdman sees this loss is a learning opportunity for the team. “We’ll learn from this. We were caught with a ball over the top, and in World Cups (transitions) are critical, so our centre backs will learn from this – they’ll look at the footage and they’ll get tighter. On the other end, we had chances and we should have put something in tonight, so that’s disappointing as well.”