FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifiers
Belarus 1-2 Scotland
FC Minsk, Minsk
Thursday 19 October, 2017, kick-off 4pm (UK time)
Belarus: Anastasia Kharlanova (25)
Scotland: Jane Ross (27), Anna Kozyupa (og) (62)
Shelley Kerr recorded a win in her first competitive match as Scotland began their road to what would be their first World Cup in France 2019.
Scotland had large spells of possession but were unable to score the number of goals their play deserved.
They were delivered a set-back early on after conceding the first goal but a Jane Ross equaliser was followed up by an own goal in the second half which gave Scotland the three points.
They now go into Tuesday's game against Albania at the Paisley 2012 Stadium hopeful of a large crowd with free entry for all supporters.
Scotland started strongly with Jane Ross going close from a rebound following a Caroline Weir free-kick.
Manchester City striker Ross had another opportunity early on but overran the ball and it was collected by the goalkeeper.
At the other end Lee Alexander had to have sharp reactions to block a shot inside the box after nine minutes.
With 24 minutes gone, Belarus took a shock 1-0 lead when Anastasia Kharlanova looped the ball over the head of Lee Alexander who was unable to bat the ball away.
Just three minutes later Jane Ross equalised for Scotland. She first of all earned a corner with a rasping drive before knocking home the corner following a goalmouth scramble.
The half then petered out with Scotland still pressing for a winner and Jenny Beattie was presented with the ball in the box but couldn’t direct her effort on target.
Scotland began the second half in the ascendancy once again but Belarus were proving a hard nut to crack. Claire Emslie was presented with a golden opportunity at the back post but her shot failed to hit the back of the net.
Jenny Beattie then saw a header well saved after she found herself clear at the back post.
Belarus’s goal was subject to a barrage of attacks and Scotland finally received the breakthrough when Anna Kozyupa knocked the ball into her own net following a determined Jane Ross run and cross which caused problems inside the box.
After the match Hayley Lauder said: “Slowly but surely we reached the performance levels we wanted to.
“We were expansive going forward and really took the game to Belarus.
“We have a lot of experience in the team that allowed us to stay calm when we went behind.
“There was no panic at all. We just had to keep at it and thankfully got our reward.
“I’m loving working under Shelley again having experienced it with under-19s. Her knowledge has brought a lot to the group.
“I can’t wait to play in front of our home fans on Tuesday. With free entry, hopefully we can get a good crowd along to make some noise. It’s a match we’re looking forward to.”
Scotland: Alexander, Lauder, Corsie (C), Beattie, Smith, Love, Weir (Crichton, 77), Emslie, C Murray (Cuthbert, 76), Evans (Fiona Brown, 83), Ross
Unused substitutes: Lynn, Arthur, J Murray, Clelland