England lose to France 1-2 in international friendly

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England's Jordan Henderson (R) challenges France's Samir Nasri during their international friendly soccer match at Wembley Stadium in London November 17, 2010.

LONDON, Nov. 17 -- England suffered a 1-2 defeat as they hosted neighbours France in an international friendly at Wembley on Wednesday.

France boss Laurent Blanc led a fresh squad across the English Channel including Karim Benzema and Samir Nasri, both of whom surprisingly missed the World Cup squad in the charge of former manager Raymond Domenech.

Real Madrid star Karim Benzema put the visitors ahead as he and Chelsea veteran Florent Malouda teased the hosts' defence before slotting home a left-footer after 16 minutes.

France dominated the field in most part of the time and Mathieu Valbuena added a second 10 minutes after the interval as he swept home from Bacary Sagna's cross.

England team debutant Andy Carroll demonstrated his potential, but the 21-year-old Newcastle striker failed to score before he was replaced by Championship player Jay Bothroyd with 20 minutes remaining.

The home side seemed more sharp in the right flank after Manchester City midfielder Adam Johnson was introduced as a second-half substitute but the 23-year-old and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard both squandered chances to change the scoreline.

England struggled to catch up with their rivals and it was until the 86th minute that they finally pulled a goal back credited to Peter Crouch.

The Spurs striker replaced Gerrard in the 85th minute as the playmaker apparently injured his right thigh while scrambling for the ball with Yoann Gourcuff. Then, Crouch smashed Ashley Young's corner with his first touch of the game.