Vauxhall Women's International Challenge Match
Scotland 1-1 Iceland
Saturday, 4th August 2012, kick-off 3.00pm
Cappielow Park, Greenock
Mitchell, '89; Jessen, '82
Anna Signeul feels that the pieces are coming together for Scotland as they head into the final round of UEFA Women's Euro 2013 qualifying matches.
A battling draw against a powerful Icelandic side this afternoon was deemed an ideal test ahead of the matches against Wales and France in September.
Signeul said: "I was very pleased with our performance today. Iceland are a very strong, physical side and I felt we matched them well.
"We have made a lot of progress over the past few years, but sometimes that physicality is the one thing that has been missing. In the past we have had problems against such big, powerful sides.
"This was the kind of test we needed ahead of the qualifiers. It was important for our players to prove, mainly to themselves, that they could compete with a side like this. Iceland are top of their qualifying group, but things are so tight in some of the groups that they are one of the sides that we could come up against if we get the one point that we need to make it to the play-offs.
"A performance like that, at a tough point in the season, shows that we have nothing to fear, and maybe Iceland will be thinking that they don't want to face us in a play-off now."
Young midfielder Emma Mitchell made the difference for Scotland, after they fell behind to a Sandra Maria Jessen goal with just eight minutes left on the clock.
Signeul said: "We didn't have as much of the ball as we are used to, but we coped well, even after going behind.
"It was a combination of Emma’s arrival and so many Iceland substitutions that helped us get the equaliser. Up to that point we had been working hard but a team of Iceland’s quality are always hard to break down.
"We are happy with the display today, and with our preparations in general, but we take absolutely nothing for granted. We need only one point to reach the play-offs but we know that Wales and France will be tough, tough matches. We will play Norway at the end of August, and that will be another good challenge before we go into those important matches."
Signeul is also looking to the future this weekend, as Scotland U23s take on on their Icelandic counterparts in a closed-door match at Cappielow tomorrow.
She said: "These kind of matches are so important to keep our best young players in the national team set-up and show that there there is a pathway into the senior squad.
"There is such a jump between under-19s and the senior squad, that you often see promising young players going no further. We want to give them an opportunity to stay in our plans.
"Seeing players like Emma making the step up from the under-19s will also be encouraging for other players.
"The last friendly match against Cameroon gave me an opportunity to bring more young players in to get experience of being around the squad, and that was a big positive for us."