FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Qualifiers
Scotland 2-1 Hungary
Friday, 22 October 2021, kick-off 7:35pm
Hampden Park, Glasgow
Scotland break Hungarian resistance with late winner to record three wins from three in qualification bid.
Scotland: Grimshaw (42’), Corsie (90’)
Hungary: Vágó (56)
As it happened
Scotland scored a dramatic injury time winner to overcome a stubborn Hungary to record a third consecutive win in their qualification campaign and maintain new Head Coach Pedro Martinez Losa’s 100% record since he took charge.
After struggling to create chances in the opening stages – and making life hard for themselves by helping Hungary to an equaliser in the second half – the victory was ultimately deserved as Scotland turned up the heat on a cold Hampden night in front of 6,445 fans inside the national stadium – a new record for a competitive women’s match in Scotland.
A cagey opening spell saw few chances in the opening period, with Scotland probing the Hungarian defence without ever really threatening.
The first sight on goal for Scotland came from an unlikely source as Jennifer Beattie let fly with a dipping volley from 20 yards.
Good work down the right-hand side from Rachel McLauchlan resulted in a teasing cross into the danger zone. The Hungarian defender went for the spectacular with the clearance, rather than focusing on efficacy, with her overhead kick teeing up Beattie for a strike that brought a spectacular save from Szocs in the Hungarian goal.
Scotland had to wait until the 22nd minute for their next true sight on goal came, Claire Emslie picking the ball up just inside the Hungarian half. The winger drove forward down the left wing before cutting inside, her right-footed drive failing to test the keeper as it flew past the near post.
The hosts did not have to wait long for their next effort. Good work from Jane Ross saw her hold the ball up with her back to goal on the edge of the box. She laid the ball off to Caroline Weir on the left-hand side of the penalty area, whose first-time low, left-footed strike curled agonizingly away from the far post for a goal kick.
Scotland were beginning to find their groove, Emslie once again proving difficult for the Hungarians to handle. Her cross to Ross from the left found its way back to her on the touchline, with her first-time ball in to close to the goalkeeper, who managed to hold on under pressure from Erin Cuthbert.
Bullish play from Erin Cuthbert saw her drive from deep on the 30-minute mark, cutting inside from the left before attempting a shot from distance. Though blocked, the ricochet fell kindly for Cuthbert, who was able to take it on the chest and continue into the box, only for a desperate sliding challenge to prevent a shot from ten yards out.
The breakthrough came on 33 minutes when a whipped Weir corner kick found the head of the onrushing Beattie in the six yard box. Her header was firm but too close to Szocs, who was able to palm it away for another corner.
With Scotland starting to turn the screw and Hungary offering little going forward the breakthrough was becoming nigh-on inevitable and it duly arrived on the 42nd minute.
A deep, angled cross from Nicola Docherty on the left somehow evaded the defence and landed at the feet of Christy Grimshaw on the edge of the six yard box. With the goal gaping, the winger made no mistake with the finish, burying a low strike to give Scotland the lead they so desperately craved for half-time to the delight of the crowd.
Scotland began the second half in similar form, with Grimshaw coming close to doubling her tally only to have her shot from the centre of the box saved smartly by the feet of Szocs.
Though the hosts were doing all the attacking, the danger always remained that Hungary could snatch something while the score remained 1-0 and the unthinkable duly happened on the 56th minute.
A slack pass from Nicola Docherty on the left flank gifted possession to Hungary in a dangerous area. The Hungarians capitalised on the opportunity, doing well to work it to Vágó inside the Scotland penalty area, who stunned the home side with a rifled shot into the top corner from ten yards out that left Lee Alexander with no chance.
Martinez Losa opted to change it up with a double substitution just past the hour mark, replacing the goal-scorer Grimshaw and Robertson with Lisa Evans and Lucy Graham. Evans almost made an instant impact, her deep cross taken down beautifully by Weir on the far side of the box, laying it off to Emslie, whose curling shot lacked the spin to find the top corner.
The home side came again, another fizzed-in Weir corner flicked on at the near post to Beattie, whose sliding, goal-bound effort was spectacularly blocked by a desperate defence.
The sense of urgency from Scotland was now palpable, and Martinez Losa opted for another double change to try and force a winner, Chloe Arthur and Rachael Boyle replacing Rachel McLauchlan and Nicola Docherty on the 78th minute.
Erin Cuthbert almost snatched a last-gasp winner on the 89th minute when she was put clean through on goal, but her dinked finish was clawed away by the Hungarian keeper.
The subsequent corner saw the ball recycled and when a cross was wasn’t dealt with by the defence, Captain Rachel Corsie was on hand to bury a header into the net for the second injury time Scotland winner at Hampden in the space of a few weeks to send the Scotland fans into raptures.
Scotland welcome Olympic silver medallists Sweden to the SMISA Stadium in Paisley on Tuesday night in an international friendly. Tickets for the match are available here.
Scotland: Alexander (GK), McLauchlan (Boyle 73’), Corsie (c), Beattie, Docherty (Arthur 73’), Robertson (Evans 63’), Cuthbert, Weir, Grimshaw (Graham 63’), Ross (Clelland 86’), Emslie
Unused substitutes: Fife, Howard, Clark, Hanson, Davidson, Cumings (GK), Ness
Hungary: Szocs, Németh, Kovács, Papp, Szabó, Csiszár, Fenyvesi, Nagy, Vágó, Zeller, Sipos (Pápai 15’)
Unused substitutes: Fördos, Pusztai, Savanya, Bíró, Németh, Vachter, Csányi, Kocsán, Csigi, Zágor, Eros