Vauxhall Women's A International Challenge Match
Scotland 0-4 Norway
Thursday 17th September 2015, 7pm kick-off
Firhill Stadium, Glasgow
(Haavi 19', Hegerberg 43', Borge 48', Tonter 80')
Norway proved to be too strong tonight at Firhill as they ran out 4-0 victors in Scotland's final match before Tuesday's European Championship qualifying in Slovenia.
Two goals in either half, including a stunning long-range effort from Emilie Bosshard Haavi, was the difference between the two sides at the home of Partick Thistle.
Scotland were without four of their most experienced players for the visit of Roger Finjord’s side, with Kim Little and Rachel Corsie rested for Tuesday’s match and Ifeoma Dieke and Emma Mitchell missing through injury.
Despite missing that quartet, Scotland started the game strongly. After 11 minutes, fine play from Bayern Munich’s Lisa Evans found Jane Ross. Her through-ball found Leanne Crichton, but unfortunately for the Notts County midfielder the ball was just out of reach.
That chance triggered a reaction from the Norwegians, eager to impress Peter Finjord in his first match as national coach. Ada Stolsmo nearly opened the scoring on two occasions; the first prevented by a fine save from Gemma Fay and the second a shot the Lyon striker blazed over the bar.
Norway were not to be denied for much longer, however, as the visitors took the lead at 19 minutes. From 30 yards out, Emilie Bosshard Haavi smashed an effort off the crossbar and in to give Norway the lead.
While the goal was a fine reward for Norway’s short spell of dominance, Scotland recovered well. Evans, joining the national team on the back of a fine start to the Frauen-Bundesliga season in Germany, was causing havoc on the right –hand side, linking up with Jane Ross. The pair linked-up once more to tee up a chance for Christie Murray, but the Bristol Academy striker’s effort took with a wicked deflection and spun just wide of Ingrid Hjelmseth’s goal.
The half appeared to be dwindling to a close when Norway doubled their lead through a bullet-header from Hegerberg. On the other side of the interval the visitors then made it 3-0, when Nora Holdstad Berge, a team mate of Evans at Bayern Munich, prodded home after a stramash in the Scotland penalty box.
With the pressing matter of European qualifiers for Scotland in Slovenia and Norway in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, both coaches used the second-half to ring the changes. Three players who represented Scotland Women’s Under-19s last summer in Norway came on, including Hibernian winger Lizzie Arnot who made her international debut this evening at Firhill.
The substitutes who came on refreshed Scotland’s attack in the closing stages, and came close on several occasions to getting a consolation which was the very least Scotland’s efforts deserved on a drizzly September evening in the West End of Glasgow. Those surges forward left gaps at the back however, one of which Andrine Tomter exploited to score Norway’s fourth of the evening.
The result may have been disappointing for Anna Signeul’s side, but the priority for this evening was always to ensure the players had the sufficient mix of game-time and rest ahead of Tuesday’s match in Slovenia. Despite the scoreline, the match at Firhill provided that.
Scotland: Fay (GK, C) (Lynn 46’), McSorley (Richards 82’), Love (Arthur 69’), Lauder (Arnot 73’), Crichton (Weir 62’), Evans, J.Ross (Clelland 82’), Beattie, Murray, Brown, Smith.
Subs not used: Dieke, L.Ross, Little, Corsie.