England throw away Euro 2013 qualifying points against Serbia

The Belgrade heat was intense but Hope Powell admitted it was sloppy play rather than the conditions that led to her England side surrendering a two-goal lead and having to settle for a 2-2 draw in the first of their Euro 2013 qualifiers.

A Rachel Yankey goal after six minutes and an own goal by Violeta Slovic 13 minutes later set Powell's team up for what appeared to be a comfortable victory. But in temperatures topping 30C in the virtually deserted Omladinski Stadium, the visitors wilted in the second half and after Danka Podovac's 55th minute goal Vesna Smiljkovic levelled the game in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

It was a deserved goal for Serbia, ranked 39 places below England in the world rankings but a match for their far more vaunted opponents on what Powell conceded was a disappointing afternoon as she took charge of her 140th international, taking her past Sir Walter Winterbottom's record for England managers.

"The conditions were extremely challenging," said Powell. "But that's no excuse. We had enough opportunities to kill the game off and didn't take them. Sloppy play cost us – we were our own worst enemies."

The coach had made five changes – two forced – from England's last game, the World Cup quarter-final defeat to France. But they looked more than good enough as they controlled the first half with some ease after Yankey had shot home from a tight angle.

The lead was doubled when Slovic inadvertently bundled the ball into her own net after Sophie Bradley's header had been blocked. Further goals looked likely but chances were wasted, most notably by the strikers Natasha Dowie and Ellen White either side of half-time.

After Podovac had reduced the deficit with a clever free-kick from 25 yards, the home side took control. England hung on nervously, but were finally undone when Smiljkovic powered the ball home from 18 yards to snatch a point.