National Teams (56)
Scotland followed up their win against Ukraine with a 4-2 success against Albania which temporarily put them in first place of qualification Group 11 for the UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship in Slovakia.
With Austria not playing until later that day, Scotland had the chance to pile on the pressure on their rivals. Lia Tweedie, Kirsty Howat, Kirsty Hanson and Carla Boyce were the scorers as Scotland ran out clear winners.
Having started well in the first match against Ukraine, Scotland continued much in the same way and it took them only nine minutes to open the scoring as last game’s impact sub Lia Tweedie converted a Sarah Clelland assist.
It was Tweedie who was to play a part in Scotland’s second goal, too, as she laid on Kirsty Howat’s strike in the 20th minute.
Albania were quick to reply, though, and Franja eventually scored for them after Flaherty had just saved a shot from Behluli.
Just four minutes before half time, Scotland were clearly not ready to rest on their laurels as Hanson made it 3-1 from a Erin Cuthbert assist.
The half ended in cruel fashion for Scotland as Gjegji pulled one back in the third minute of added time.
Scotland made an impressive start to their qualifying campaign for the UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship in Slovakia as they won 3-2 against Ukraine.
Goals from Abigail Harrison, Erin Cuthbert and Lia Tweedie ensured Scotland went into second place in Group 11 behind leaders Austria, who defeated Albania 8-1 later that day.
After their 3-0 victory against the same opposition earlier this year, Scotland were keen to emulate such a good performance. And they duly did, dominating proceedings and peppering the Ukrainian goal so that the result flattered the visitors in the end.
The Ukrainians were anxious to make the game hard for Scotland, disrupting their flow with fouls at the beginning of the match. After 17 minutes, though, Rachel McLauchlan’s blocked shot resulted in a corner. Midfielder Erin Cuthbert put in a great ball and Scotland were ahead, with captain Abigail Harrison scoring.
Scotland lost possession from a Cuthbert free kick in the 40th minute, and Ukraine duly seized their opportunity to counter as Khuda fed in Lymar to score the equaliser. Defiantly, Scotland tried to react, and put Ukraine under huge pressure, producing an onslaught that was eventually stopped by Ukrainian keeper Viktoriia Kyslova and the half time whistle.
Ricky Sbragia took charge of his first game in charge of the young Scots at Mourneview Park, as Northern Ireland hosted the first of the European Championship Under 21 qualifying campaign’s matches. Recent Hibernian signing, John McGinn, wore the captain’s armband, however he could only watch as Northern Ireland’s Seamus McCartan headed wide the first opportunity, only a matter of seconds into the contest. One man in great form, Ryan Fraser, was nominated for the Championship Player of the Month award, and it was easy to see why, as he let fly from a speculative distance in the sixth minute, although Kilmarnock's Connor Brennan in the opposition goal held strong.
The home side took advantage of the hectic start only two minutes later, an inviting ball into the box from left back Michael Duffy was tucked home by Mikhail Kennedy, not the start that Sbragia would have been hoping for. His players did not seem to have their confidence knocked off, as Fraser again teased the defence straight from kick off, and played it to Callum McFadzean, his deep cross was picked up on by Ryan Gauld, who was crowded out and failed to get his shot away. McGinn also had a great chance on 20 minutes, as he eluded the Northern Ireland defence, and let fly from 25 yards out, again, Brennan was there to deny him.
The unrelenting Scottish pressure proved to be too much on 33 minutes. Hibernian striker Jason Cummings picked up the ball from the halfway line, and flicked a pass over the top of the back four. Ryan Christie, recently signed by Celtic, proved too quick and decisive and fired a shot into the near post, levelling the scoreline in the process. Cummings nearly completed a first-half comeback on 44 minutes, Ryan Fraser again provided the cross, however last season’s Scottish Championship top scorer was unable to convert it into the back of the net.
The Scots’ dominant performance in the capital, which powerfully illustrated their attacking abilities, will have been greatly pleasing to coach Pauline Hammill as she prepares her squad for upcoming European Championship qualifying ties against Austria, Kazakhstan and Latvia.
Scotland began this Vauxhal Women’s Under-17 International Challenge Match brightly, immediately taking the game to their opponents from across the Irish Sea. With just four minutes on the clock, Hay made a darting run down the left-hand side before releasing the ball to a waiting Ellis Dalgliesh. However, the Celtic striker was quickly surrounded in the box before she could get a shot away and the chance was gone.
The ground was soon back on its feet though, as the hosts netted the opening goal after 10 minutes. McDonald charged into the box from the centre of the pitch before sliding the ball into the net with a firm, precise finish. Scotland’s impressive start had been duly rewarded.
Soon Hay was causing more problems for the Irish backline, her pace causing chaos in the visitor’s half. With 15 minutes played, Hay accelerated down the left-wing but was unfortunate not to double Scotland’s advantage with a cut-inside and shot.
Ireland simply did not know what to do with Hay, who not long after caused yet more trouble. A superb pass from Lauren Gordon into Hay allowed the City forward to sprint beyond from her marker and stab an effort at goal, which Ireland keeper Sophie Lenehen did well to get down low to and block.
Finally, with 28 minutes gone, the dam burst. Ireland simply could not resist the relentless Scottish onslaught on their goal any longer. The irrepressible Hay created space for herself down the left-flank, before launching a ferocious pile-driver past Lenehen to make it 2-0.
Scotland’s next goal was even better. And the identity of the scorer was no surprise. On the half-hour mark, Hay was sent through into the box and found herself one-on-one with Lenehen. Hay, with the deftest of touches, flicked the ball round the last defender and, with the keeper rushing towards her, smoothly tucked the finish past her at the near post to net her double and make it 3-0.
In the third and final match at Forfar’s Station Park it was time for the BGC Wales and CYP Scotland under 19 teams to do battle. Once again the weather conditions were far from decent but that did not stop the players putting in huge amounts of effort and dishing up a tantalizing affair.
Scotland’s Patrick Martin had originally put his team 1-0 up before the break, but second half goals from Wales’ Daniel Jones and Alfie Jones ensured that the Welsh left Forfar with wins across all three age groups.
The game took a while to get going as both teams were momentarily ushered off the pitch by the officials following a horrid looking head injury to Scotland’s Liam Harper. Everyone hopes that he recovers well and is back on a football pitch soon.
Once play restarted the first opportunity came about on the sixth minute. Scotland’s Jack Wilson stepped up to take a free kick and went straight for goal. The ball was claimed well by Wales keeper Sam Hill.
Wales had to wait 15 minutes before they had their first opportunity at goal, also via a free-kick. Shay Jones was the man to step up and he looked to bend his effort into the top left hand corner but Scotland’s Caelan Flynn was on hand to claim the ball.
In the 22nd minute, Wilson came close again for Scotland. The midfielder unleashed a speculative looking strike from an improbable range, but the ball clipped the post and bounced out of play for a goal kick, much to the relief of the Welsh.
On the half hour mark, Shay Jones was afforded another chance to take a shot at goal from a free kick. The number six stepped up once again but fired his shot onto the roof of the net.
Five minutes later Patrick Martin picked up possession of the ball inside the Welsh penalty area. He managed to create an opening for himself but could only shoot into the side netting.
Six minutes prior to half time Scotland seized control of the game by taking the lead. Martin broke free from the Welsh defensive shackles and found himself one-on-one with the keeper Rhys Fisher. Martin coolly slotted the ball past Fisher and, despite the Welsh goalie getting a touch to it, it dribbled into the net to put the Scots 1-0 up. Despite Wales’ attempts this is how it stayed for the remainder of the half.
The under 17 representatives of CYP Scotland and BGC Wales were on show in the second international game of the day at Forfar Athletic’s Station Park. The rain that had been merciless during the first game of the day continued throughout the second so conditions were similarly difficult. What panned out was a close affair between two strong nations. Wales, however, grabbed the winner through Jack Page 11 minutes from time to seal a second international win of the day, following on from the success of their under 15s side.
Wales started the stronger of the two sides with some early sights at goal. The first clear opportunity came about in the eighth minute of the game when Jack Hurley played the ball through to Jac Dodson. The welsh number 14 looked to slot the ball into the net but was denied thanks to a great diving save from Scotland keeper John Sinclair.
In the 15th minute Scotland had their first chance at goal. Jack Ewing was put through on goal but his effort was deflected over the target following a well timed challenge from Wales’ Dion Molyneux.
Four minutes later, Fraser Edward went close for the hosts as his header following a corner landed onto the roof of the net.
Shortly after, the woodwork came into play to deny Wales an opening goal. They were awarded a free kick right on the edge of the penalty area and captain Lewys Cruickshank stepped up to take it. The resulting shot was ferociously driven and it thundered back off the crossbar and away from danger.
After a series of half chances for each side the next clear opportunity came the way of Scotland’s Mitchell Ewing just before the half time whistle. The number 17 was played through by Calum Boath and, as he bore down on goal under pressure from the Welsh defence, he let rip at goal. His strike clipped the top of the crossbar and went out of play for a goal kick.