Scotland 4 Greece 1

Scotland took on Greece in what was one of two must win games if they are to make the World Cup play-off to reach the Finals in Germany next year. Scotland were second in the group before the game kicked off having won five out of six games in their Group. This sort of form set them up up well for the game at The Strathclyde Homes Stadium in Dumbarton. Scotland ran out comfortable 4-1 winners with two goals in each half but they should have scored more and earlier in the second half with the final two goals coming the last ten minutes of the game. Scotland’s goals came from Jennifer Beattie, the inevitable Julie Fleeting, who is now a doubt for Wednesday, Rachael Corsie and Suzanne Grant to round things off.  Much better than the 1-0 won away from home in Greece.
 

Not really a flag day for the Greeks after all


Things did not look good for another win when Gemma Fay gave away a penalty in the 8th minute when she bundled Maria Adamaki to the ground. Luckily for Scotland it was just a yellow card for Fay and a penalty for Greece. Number 8 Dania-Eleni Sudira stepped up to send Fay the wrong way and Greece were in the lead. However, Scotland were not put off their stride ands they started to dominate the game. There was no real contest in terms of skill and determination as Scotland players wanted t take the chance of a lifetime and reach the World Cup Finals. The comeback from Scotland was always on the cards as they restricted Greece to that one penalty chance. I can’t really remember any pressure on Fay after that but that did not stop her feeling guilty that she had made life difficult for her teammates. She would have breathed a huge sigh of relief when she saw the header from Beattie hit the back of the net. Scotland had won another corner in the 23 minutes and as the ball was swung over, Beattie out jumped everybody and powered the ball into the net. It was not long before the small crowd was celebrating again as Scotland took the lead. Kim Little, who was deservedly named player of the match, drove into the box on the left and her lob hit the bar with the keeper stranded. The visitors could not get the ball away and it fell invitingly for Fleeting who did not need a second invitation to put the ball into the back of the net. This was no more than Scotland deserved as they struggled against the wind in the first half but the game was really one sided and the Greeks only threat on goal would come from set pieces. 

 


Everybody wants to congratulate Jennifer Beattie on her equaliser

The second half saw Fleeting replaced as she suffered an injured Achilles when attempting to block a Greek clearance. The Greeks started the second half as they did the first, more on the front foot that Scotland but that soon gave way to a familiar pattern of Scotland staying in the visitors half and putting them under pressure with a series of corners. While the Greeks could not score an equaliser with Scotland camped in their half, Scotland could not manage to take advantage of their superiority in class and possession. Beattie was making the visitors life a misery at the corners as they had nobody to compete with her height and power. She may be deployed further forward against Denmark of Fleeting fails to recover by Wednesday. The crowd had to wait till near the end of the game before they could really feel safe that they would see a Scotland victory. Another corner from the left saw first Beattie leap for the ball then Corsie get a great header on the ball and despatch it into the back of the net. Job done, it looked like Scotland would just play out time. However, there was one more goal to enjoy. The final goal was a peach from Suzanne Grant. She was picked out unmarked on the right of the penalty area and ran in on Charalampidou. She then calmly lobbed the ball over the onrushing keeper to make the final score 4-1.



Suzanne Grant shows how it should be done


 

Scotland: Fay, Beattie, Dieke, Love, Little, Sneddon, Fleeting, Hamill, Corsie, Fernon, Grant
Subs: Lynn, Ross, Brown, Jones, C Murray, J Murray

Greece: Charalampidou, Kakampouki, Papadupunlou, Gkatogianni, Adamaki, Sudira, Chatzigiannidou, Panteliadou, Mitkou, Kontomichi, Kydonaki
Subs: Falida, Vlassiadou, Xera, Chaliakadi, Kogmbouli, Michalakidou, Tselekoglou


Crowd: 561 - the game deserved more

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