England showed promise against a rampant New Zealand side who took their 15th test win in a row with a 20-15 victory in Auckland.
England fielded a largely under-strength side against the Kiwis and while they were without several players due to injury, as well as the lateness of players returning from the Premiership final between Northampton and Saracens, the side held the lead for most of the game.
Despite New Zealand being unbeaten in 20 years at Eden Park, England threatened the side by going up 12-9 thanks to four penalties from Freddie Burns with 15 minutes to go.
But Aaron Cruden got the All Blacks back in it and the scores sat at 15-15 with just minutes remaining.
Then the hosts' experience and hunger for more success came into play, with Marland Yarde sent to the sin bin for England and New Zealand recovering from a missed penalty with Conrad Smith diving on the ball to win the match.
Burns, who was fourth choice for fly-half but showed just how much strength in depth Stuart Lancaster has at the moment with a positive game after being selected over Danny Cipriani, said he was disappointed with the final score but there were positives to be taken.
"We're gutted, we had opportunities but credit to the All Blacks, give them a sniff and they will take it," he said. "We will try to take the positives into the second Test and learn from it.
"Everyone stood up and was counted, we wanted to prove a point and we did that, and we have players coming back and can do well next week."
Lancaster added: "I'm frustrated. We put ourselves in a position to win the game and not to nail it at the end is frustrating, but I'm probably proud in equal measure.
"To lose at the end is tough because it was an outstanding effort. One or two things did not go our way, a little bit of game management but there were lots of positives.
"I always truly believed we could win, but we have some selection decisions to make because the lads that played today were outstanding."
England face New Zealand again at the same time next weekend and both sides will be keen to show their dominance after Lancaster's side came so close to a shock victory.