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Scotland and England share spoils in eight-goal thriller

Friday, 08 March 2013


Cyprus Women's Cup - Group A

Scotland 4-4 England
Friday 8 March, kick-off 5.30 pm (3.30 pm UK time)
GSZ Stadium, Larnaca

Evans 18, J Ross 48, Little 53, Mitchell 82; White 40, Duggan 45+1, Williams 73, Smith 77

It was honours even in Larnaca as Scotland and England served up a thrilling encounter on International Women's Day.

The action raged from end to end, with the sides swapping the lead on the way to a 4-4 draw on match day two of the Cyprus Women's Cup.

Scotland went ahead through an 18th minute Lisa Evans strike, and Anna Signeul's side remained in front until England struck twice in a six minute spell at the end of the first half.

Jane Ross and Kim Little found the target to put Scotland 3-2 up early in the second half, before England again equalised. It was 4-3 to England with 13 minutes remaining, but substitute Emma Mitchell earned Scotland a deserved point.


England had some early chances, but Scotland quickly settled. Little was pushed forward from her usual midfield berth to partner Ross in attack, and saw an early 25-yard free-kick just tipped over the bar by goalkeeper Rachel Brown.

Little and Ross linked up to create another opportunity, with the latter side-footing an effort just wide, before Evans made the breakthrough. She latched on to a Ross pass to round the goalkeeper and place the ball into the net.

Brown again had to look sharp to turn a deflected Little shot round the post as Scotland looked to extend their lead.

But it was England who struck next, when Ellen White headed in from a Rachel Unitt corner.

Despite having the best of the first-half chances, Scotland went in 2-1 down at the break after Toni Duggan struck in stoppage time.

Little, Ross and Evans combined to quickly re-establish Scotland's lead after the break.

Ross darted across the goal to pick up an Evans ball and beat Brown. Evans then latched on to a Ross ball and neatly cut back to Little, who skipped through the England defence to fire the ball low into the net to make it 3-2.

Rachel Williams levelled with a low shot, before Kelly Smith gave England the lead once more. Scotland goalkeeper Gemma Fay, back in the side after missing Wednesday's 1-0 defeat to New Zealand through illness, blocked Duggan's shot, but Smith followed up with the rebound.

Substitute Mitchell rounded off an entertaining match when she showed great composure to send an angled shot into the corner of the net to make it 4-4.

Scotland national coach, Anna Signeul, said: "This really was a thrilling match, and a great advert for the women's game. There was energy, skill, and plenty of wonderful goals.

"We looked sluggish in the opening match against New Zealand, but today we looked more like ourselves. We worked much harder and had a spring in our step.

"Of course we were a bit disappointed to go in behind at the break, and to end up with a draw after taking the lead twice, but there aren't many teams who will take four goals from England.

"Kim and Jane were fantastic up front for us today. They linked up well with each other and with the midfield and put the England defence under real pressure.

"We showed great composure all over the pitch. You saw that even when Emma Mitchell came on as a substitute and scored the final goal. She could have easily hit a snap shot, but was calm under pressure, swapped the ball onto her left foot and finished well."

Scotland:
Fay (GK)(C), Jones, McSorley (L Ross, 69) (J Murray, 88), Beattie, Brown, Crichton, Love (Mitchell, 73), Sneddon, Evans, J Ross, Little

Substitutes: Lynn (GK), Grant, Malone,  Docherty.

England:
Brown (GK), Houghton, J Scott, Stoney (C), Carney, F Williams, White, Susi, Unitt, Duggan, R Williams.

Substitutes: Bardsley, A Scott, Bradley, Asante, Aluko, Smith, Yankey, Chamberlain, Clarke, Nobbs, Bassett.

Next match:

Cyprus Women's Cup - Group A
Italy v Scotland
Monday 11 March, kick-off 2.30 pm
GSZ Stadium, Larnaca


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