FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifier
Ukraine 0-4 Scotland
Friday, 24 June 2022
Stadion Miejski, Rzeszów
By Karen Malcolm
Scotland 4 (Caroline Weir 9’, Erin Cuthbert 17’, Martha Thomas 20’, Martha Thomas 43’)
Scotland’s Number 1 Lee Gibson, née Alexander, wore her new surname on the back of her shirt for the first time following her wedding last month. Glasgow City goalkeeper Erin Clachers , who was experiencing her first involvement in the senior squad following a late call-up, took a place on the bench.
Head Coach Pedro Martinez Losa only made on change to the starting eleven that played in the 2-0 defeat to Spain at Hampden in April, as Abi Harrison was replaced by Lana Clelland.
As It Happened
On a warm night in Poland, Scotland took on Ukraine. The game presented Scotland with a chance to take a big step towards sealing a World Cup play-off place if they got a positive result.
Scotland took the lead of the game in the ninth minute when they were awarded a penalty after Claire Emslie was fouled from behind by Kateryna Korsun inside the box. Caroline Weir stepped up to take the penalty and, despite Kateryna Samson getting a hand to it, the forward’s effort was too powerful and went into the bottom left hand corner of the net. The goal was Weir’s first goal of the campaign.
Erin Cuthbert doubled Scotland’s lead in the 17th minute when she received the ball on the edge of the box and made her way past the Ukraine defender and slotted past the Ukraine keeper, with a cool finish.
Three minutes later and Scotland got their third; Erin Cuthbert swung a corner into the back post and Martha Thomas was able to get to the ball before her competition to head it in.
In the 43rd minute, Martha Thomas scored her second of the game, once again thanks to great link up between herself and Erin Cuthbert. Cuthbert’s corner found Thomas’ head and she looped it over the Ukrainian defenders inside the box to score our fourth of the half.
A brilliant first half performance gave Scotland a 4-0 lead over Ukraine at the break.
Martha Thomas almost had her hat-trick in the 51st minute, however her header towards goal was cleared off the line before almost rebounding in off the Ukraine defender. She came close to nabbing her third again in the 68th minute when Caroline Weir sent her through on goal, however her left footed shot was well saved by Kateryna Samson.
In the 83rd minute, a speculative shot from Ukraine forced Lee Gibson to pull off a fantastic save to preserve the clean sheet for Scotland.
The four goals in the first half were enough to ensure the second half was comfortable for Scotland. Ukraine continued to create chances in the second half however great defensive performances and a couple of key saves from Lee Gibson ensured Scotland got their clean sheet as well as the well-deserved win.
Scotland will play their final FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers group stage match on the 6th September when they travel to take on Faroe Islands.
Ukraine: Samson, Korsun, Kravets, Shmatko, Romanenko, Pantsulaya (Hiryn 45), Apanaschenko (Khrystiuk 77), Petryk, Ovdiychuk (Khimich 60), Kravchuk (Hlushchenko 60), Kozlova (Kalinina 67)
Unused Substitutes: Boklach, Sanina, Podolska, Kotiash, Basanska, , Kitayeva, Shevchuk,
Scotland: Gibson, Docherty, Corsie (Clark 84), Kerr, Weir (Graham 90), Evans, Howard, Emslie, Clelland (Murray 75), Thomas (Harrison 75), Cuthbert (Arthur 75)
Unused Substitutes: Clachers, Cumings, Robertson, Ross, Arnot