A first-half strike gave Canada a 1-0 victory over England in the Cyprus Cup.
The goal came after just ten minutes, Christina Julien drilling a low, 15-yard shot beyond Karen Bardsley in the England goal.
Hope Powell's side soon grew into the game, and on 25 minutes, England were on the attack. A miscued volley from Yankey ricochet into the path of Alex Scott who took the ball on the volley at the same time as being put under serious pressure from the goalkeeper whom got a faint touch to deflect the shot just wide.
England continued to press now dominating the midfield with short one touch passing. An interchange between Jill Scott and Fara Williams put Jess Clarke away down the left, who in tern released Sanderson down the channel before flicking back into the path of Jill Scott but the ball was just too hard to favour the oncoming goalkeeper.
On 32 minutes England moved the ball wide, and on pulling it back to twenty yards out, Alex Scott was upended for a direct free kick. Fara Williams bent the ball just over the cross bar.
Apart from brief forays where they showd neat and tidy passing, Canada appeared happy to sit on their one-goal lead and breaking when possible, moving the ball forward at a good tempo.
On 40 minutes, Alex Scott had a thundering shot blocked on the edge of the area to sum up England's dominance in possession and territory but also Canada's defensive defiance holding onto their lead.
England started the second half with purpose. They had two pile drivers blocked by the stubborn Canadian defence and dominated possession.
The newly-introduced Emily Westwood was immediately into the game. A sweeping move found Unitt on the left and her cross found the head of Westwood who should have finished it instead heading over. Only minutes later she was foiled again from a good defensive block from inside the box.
England began to find space through the middle and went wide to swing dangerous balls into the middle, though Canada defended stoically and methodically making life really difficult for England.
With 80 minutes on the clock, Canada caused tEngland a problem for the first time in the half and Bardsley is forced to pull off a full length save.
With just five minutes to go, England went all out on the attack, creating some dangerous opportunities but to no avail. Canada suddenly broke on the counter-attack and Sinclair went through one-on-one, but hit her shot straight at Bardsley.
Canada managed to hold on for the victory, which would have gone some way to avenging the defeat in last season's Cyprus Cup final, and although England improved considerably from their opening game against South Africa, they will feel this was a game they should have won.
England 13 Karen Bardsley, 2 Alex Scott, 3 Casey Stoney, 4 Fara Williams, 5 Faye White (C), 6 Laura Bassett (18 Dunia Susi 59), 7 Jess Clarke, 8 Jill Scott, 14 Rachel Unitt, 16 Lianne Sanderson (19 Emily Westwood, 59), 17 Rachel Yankey
Canada 1 Karina LeBlanc, 2 Emily Zurrer, 7 Rhian Wilkinson, 8 Diana Matheson, 9 Candice Champan, 10 Jodi- Ann Robinson, 11 Kelly Parker, 12 Christine Sinclair (C), 14 Carmelina Moscato, 15 Christina Julien, 18 Marie Eve Nault