UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Qualifier
Scotland 0 - 1 Finland
Tuesday, 1 December 2020, kick-off 7.30pm
Easter Road, Edinburgh
Finland: Rantanen (90+5')
Scotland were knocked out of UEFA Women's EURO 2022 thanks to a very late goal from Finland.
Despite dominating in the capital, Scotland failed to find a way past the rigid visitors at Easter Road in the final fixture of 2020.
Claire Emslie was ruled out through injury and replaced by Rachel McLauchlan with Christie Murray back available after finishing her 14 days of self-isolation following a COVID-19 outbreak at Birmingham City.
The Scots started strongly in Edinburgh and found themselves knocking on the door for large chunks of the opening 15 minutes.
The first real opportunity fell to Jane Ross wide on the right hand side after she was cleverly picked out by Christie Murray, but the forward overcooked her cross in to the area.
Four minutes later, Kim Little’s superb hold-up play presented Lisa Evans with a decent opportunity inside the area. The Arsenal midfielder shifted it quickly on to her left before getting the shot away, but it deflected over the bar for a Scotland corner.
From the resulting set piece, Jen Beattie towered above the Finnish defence but it was matched by a superb stop from Korpela between the posts.
Midway through the first half, the visitors threatened when a loose pass was intercepted on the halfway line, allowing a decent opportunity for Oling to drive at the Scotland defence. Skipper Rachel Corsie snuffed out the danger expertly, nicking the ball from the advancing midfielder.
Down the other end, Little went closest to opening the scoring when she collected the ball inside the box, shaped to wrap a right-footed effort on target, but was matched by the dive of Korpela.
With five minutes remaining in the opening 45, Martha Thomas’ determination nearly led to a decent opportunity for the hosts. A clever touch to knock the ball beyond the Finland backline nearly presented a golden opportunity for the forward, but it was slightly over hit and comfortably smothered by the opposition stopper.
The final action of the half saw Little receive a yellow card for a late challenge on Kuikka as the midfielder tried to hassle and harry in the opposition box.
Five minutes in to the second half and Scotland should have taken the lead. A pinpoint cross from Evans on the right hand side found Thomas unmarked eight yards from goal, but the forward could not find the target with the free header.
Caroline Weir, winning the ball back with tenacity and driving towards the edge of the opposition box, then went close with an effort from distance which flashed narrowly wide of the post.
The Scots continued to dominate proceedings but could not find the breakthrough, despite it looking certain to come just after the hour mark. Darting towards the byline, a threatening cutback looked set to be tapped home by Ross inside the six yards, but Korpela did terrifically well to smother the dangerous ball across the face of her goal.
Another glorious opportunity fell to Scotland and it was courtesy of some excellent footwork from Little inside the opposition box. Similarly, her dangerous, low ball across the face of goal looked certain to lead to a goal, but somehow Evans saw her shot from inside the six yard box blocked.
With just over ten minutes remaining, Zoe Ness was introduced to the action in place of Thomas and, within seconds, the substitute sent a brilliant, stinging effort towards the bottom corner, but it was tipped narrowly round the post.
It was a cruel end to the game for the home side after putting so much into the match. Scotland were chasing a winner when Finland broke on the break. Rantanen was fed the ball as she run in to the Scotland half and found herself with just Lee Alexander to beat. Her goal was more fortune that skill as Alexander's save bounced up off the Finnish player's face and into the bottom corner.
It would be the last action of the game and the end to Scotland's qualification hopes.
Scotland: Alexander, Smith, Corsie, Beattie, Little, Weir, Evans, Ross (Boyle, ’64), Murray (Graham, ’64), Thomas (Ness, ’77), Cuthbert
Unused subs: Lynn, Fife, Godfrey, Docherty, Crichton, Arthur, Howard, Brown, Arnot