Scotland Women 1 Iceland Women 1
Updated Saturday, 4th August 2012
Testing yourself against top European sides is good but Scotland huffed and puffed for most of the game against Iceland today
Ahead of the final two qualifying games for EURO 2013 in Sweden, Scotland welcomed Iceland to Cappilow for a friendly. The weather was balmy after driving through a heavy rain storm to the delights of Greenock Morton’s home ground. The start of the SPL season and the first round of the Communities Cup involving clubs from the SFL may have distracted some of the potential crowd. Those that were here saw a lively start from Iceland with Fanndis Fridriksdottir able to beat Rachel Small for fun down on the right. Small was able to force Fridriksdottir just wide enough that her crosses went out of play but this is a player to watch. 12 minutes saw the first corner after some slick play on the left from Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir who drove forward before slipping the ball to Holmfridor Magnusdottir who fired in a shot at the near post which Gemma Fay blocked for a corner which came to nothing. The game had reached it’s 25 minute before I realised that I had not taken a note of any significant incident. However, a corner on the left for Scotland led to a chase up the park for Iceland’ Magnusdottir to stride into the box and try to slip the ball past Fay’s left hand. Thankfully, with Fay committed to her right, the ball went past the post for a bye-kick. Gemma Fay was the saviour for Scotland in the 38th minute when a double save prevented the more dominant visitors to take the lead. Scotland link-up play was not that much in evidence in the first half while Iceland were able to find their team-mates with ease when they moved towards Scotland’s goal. I was glad to hear the half-time whistle as that would give coach Anna Signeul a chance to re-focus her players thoughts. There appeared to be a disjointed feeling about the home side which will need to be addressed if they are to keep a clean sheet and also win the game.
Half-time Scotland 0 Iceland 0
the first quarter of the second half belong to Iceland with Rachel Small having to clear off the line in the 46th minute, Rachel Jones clearance hitting off Small’s back and falling to Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir who pulled her shot wide in the 49th minute and Edda Gardarsdottir sending ina shot from 25 metres which Gemma Fay saw late and bundled to safety. Rhonda Jones and Rachel Small were having their work cut out in controlling the marauding Iceland strike force. Scotland were not playing the flowing football from front to back that we expected to see with Iceland playing the ball over the defence for willing runners. Scotland’s Haley Lauder did have the best chance of breaking the deadlock in the 75 minute when she cracked in a shot from the left edge of the box which hit off the bar to safety. As the game wore on it became more and more likely that there would only be one goal scored with the visitors the more likely to be the ones celebrating. And the goal duly game from Iceland in the 82 minute. The Scotland defence were caught napping as the ball was fired in from the right across the goal finding substitute Sandra Maria Jessen who did not need an invitation to fire the ball home. It was a goal that had been coming for most of the game to be honest. It was only then that I started to see the kind of form from Scotland that I am used to seeing. The introduction of Emma Mitchell seemed to be the catalyst for the Scotland revival. Lauder was playing up front now making it a four player strike force and she was pulling the Icelandic defence out of position on the left before passing the ball back to substitute Frankie Brown whose cross found Jennifer Beattie for her first header of the game. Unfortunately for Beattie, it was straight at Gudbjorb Gunnarsdottir, who had taken over in goal after ten minutes of the second half. Scotland did get an equaliser when Emma Mitchell sent a screamer of a shot into the net past Gunnarsdottir with just minutes of the game to go. Scotland nearly won the game just minutes later. Lisa Evans finally was given the ball and allowed to use her speed to good advantage down the right. She beat her marker and with three teammates running in on goal, sent a low ball into the box. However, the perfectly weighted ball was just a half-pace behind the on-rushing attackers and went to safety.
Final score Scotland 1 Iceland 1
Scotland: Fay, Jones, Small (Brown 84 mins), Ross, Love (Lappin 70 mins), Lauder (Mitchell 80 mins), Sneddon, Beattie, Evans, Corsie, Fernon
Subs not used: Lynn, Docherty, Dempster, McSorley, ,
Iceland: Helgadottir (Gunnarsdottir G 55mins) , Altadittir, Viggosdottir (Bjarnadottir 81 mins), Gilsadottir (Thoseseinsdottir 75 mins), Magnusdottir (Jessen 72 mins), Gunnardottir S, Honnudottir (Jonsdottir 55 mins), Larusdottir (Bjarndottir 81 mins), Omarsdottir (Brynjarsdottir 55 mins)
Subs not used: Edvardsdottir