Scotland suffer Portugal defeat

Scotland suffer Portugal defeat

The defeat is the first of interim head coach Stuart McLaren's tenure, after securing a 10-0 win against Cyprus in his debut match on Friday

Scotland women concluded their Euro 2022 qualification campaign with a disappointing defeat against Portugal.

The Scots were punished for spurning several clear-cut chances in a dominant first half, as Ana Capeta scored after blocking Jenna Fife's poor clearance.

Stuart McLaren's side pushed for an equaliser in the second period, but Portugal held on before doubling their advantage late in the game through Fatima Pinto.

Scotland finish third in Group E.

The defeat in Larnaca, Cyprus rounds off a deflating group campaign for Scotland, who will not feature in the delayed finals in England next summer, after suffering a fourth loss in five games.

    Reaction & as it happened

McLaren's side started with zip and energy that would have been fuelled by Friday's 10-0 win over Cyprus, as their eagerness to move the ball with pace and purpose resulted in Claire Emslie flashing in a low cross for Erin Cuthbert who skied over.

Chelsea midfielder Cuthbert again fashioned an opportunity for herself, this time receiving a pass from Caroline Weir before gaining a yard and lashing a shot wide.

The Scots continued to press, as yet another sweeping move ended again with a dangerous cross from Emslie who found Martha Thomas, but the West Ham forward's hooked attempt towards goal forced a smart save from Patricia Morais.

Portugal's keeper was called into action again just moments later to parry over Cuthbert's drilled effort, but McLaren's side would be made to pay for failing to take advantage of their dominance in calamitous fashion.

Fife took a heavy touch from a Rachel Corise pass back, allowing Capeta to slide in and block the Scotland keeper's attempted clearance into the net.

The Scots responded well, as Weir tried her luck from distance before Thomas failed to divert a near-post flick on target just before the break.

Scotland continued to dominate possession in the second period, but - unlike the first half - chances were few and far between as Portugal defended admirably before doubling their advantage as Fatima Pinto hammered home in injury time to consign interim boss McLaren to a first defeat.

What they said

Scotland interim head coach Stuart McLaren: "We battered them 0-2, didn't we? One of the key points was to dominate possession, and I thought the players did that very well.

"But, reflective of the campaign, we didn't have that finishing product often enough in the final third. The players will be absolutely devastated. We'll get an opportunity to reflect as a group so the team is better prepared for World Cup qualifying.

"There's a process that's in place form the hierarchy to get the very best candidate to take charge of the women's national team."


Original Story on: GhanaSoccernet

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