Alexander eying second New Zealand victory

Women’s International Challenge Matches

Scotland v New Zealand

Pinatar Football Arena, San Pedro del Pinatar

Tuesday, 6 March 2018, 10am (UK time)

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In exactly a month’s time, Scotland will have already played Switzerland and will have the home game against Poland in their sights.

In Pinatar this week, the women’s national team have been hard at work and tomorrow they will play their final match in preparation for their World Cup qualifying campaign continuing.

A 2-0 win against New Zealand with goals courtesy of Jane Ross and Lisa Evans secured the morale boosting victory against a combative, physical New Zealand side.

In between the sticks was Lee Alexander who has been a mainstay as the number one since the retirement of Gemma Fay.

The Glasgow City goalkeeper played a crucial role in the win against New Zealand, pulling off a sensational stop with her feet at 1-0 which played a key role in Scotland securing the win.

Reflecting on that victory and the part she played, Alexander said: “I was really happy with that save.

“I just tried to get any part of my body on the ball and fortunately enough it’s hit off the post and then bounced away.

“After that we scored the second goal which really sealed the win for us.

“It was a good performance overall as we were strong defensively and we had a lot of attacking options as we were able to find our front four in space.

“We created a lot of good opportunities which was positive as previously, when we played against Norway earlier this year, we didn’t create as many as we would have liked.

“New Zealand are a really physical team and it was good to test ourselves against that type of opposition as it’s certainly something we’ll need to bring into the next two games.”

Ever since Shelley Kerr took the reigns as head coach, Lee Alexander has been heavily involved and made her Scotland debut in Kerr’s first match in charge.

Since that game in Budapest, Alexander has amassed five caps and after years of being understudy to Gemma Fay, the 26-year-old is enjoying life as Scotland’s number one.

“If you ask any footballer, you’re at your happiest when you’re playing regularly and it’s a great feeling to be starting most games," Alexander said.

“To play for my country is something I’m incredibly proud to do and to be featuring so regularly just makes it better.

“I’ve been kept on my toes as the competition is really high within the squad. Jenna (Fife) and Shannon (Lynn) have both played and done well since Shelley has come in and that’s great for me, driving me on to continue to improve.

“My main priority is helping us reach the World Cup next year. The Euros gave us a taste of what it’s like to be involved at that level and only made us hungrier.”

At club level, Alexander is aiming for City’s 13th consecutive league title but is aware Hibernian will be hot on their heels, after narrowly missing out last year.

She said: “It’s early days in terms of the league but we’ve started strongly. We know Hibernian will be pushing us again this year and that will only benefit the women’s game in Scotland.

“Last season it went down to last few games and we expect it to be very close again this year.

“For me, it’s paramount that Glasgow City win the league. It’s something that’s been instilled in me since I joined so anything less than lifting the title won’t be good enough.”