Cyprus Cup 2015
Italy 3-2 Scotland
Friday 6th March 2015, 17:30 kick-off
GSZ Larnaca, Cyprus

(Girelli 18’, 67’, Tarenzi 90’; Mitchell 69’, Little 80’)

A late goal for Italy put an end to a spirited Scotland fightback as Anna Signeul's side recovered from going 2-0 down midway through the second half to equalise with ten minutes remaining.

Stefania Tarenzi's strike consigned the Scots to a second defeat in three days, but with one eye of Euro 2017 qualifying, which starts in September, Signeul made several personnel and positional changes from the side which lost 2-0 to Canada - including a first start for 19-year-old Glasgow City goalkeeper Megan Cunningham.

Despite the scoreline, the youngster kept Scotland in the game with some good saves between the first and second Italy goals, both scored by Christiana Girelli.

With Gemma Fay on the bench the captain's armband went to Kim Little, while a second 19-year-old, Fiona Brown, was at the top of a 4-2-3-1 formation. The Glasgow City player started against Northern Ireland last month and came on as a late sub against Canada - but both times as a wide player.

Scotland started brightly, and came very close to taking the lead after seven minutes. Rachel Corsie rose above the Italian defenders to meet a Jane Ross corner with a powerful header, but it went just wide of the far post.

Signeul's side continued to take the game to Italy, but they lost a goal to the opposition's first sustained attack. Three corners in succession led to Girelli firing in a shot in the 18th minute. Fiona Brown, on the near post, got a touch to the ball but couldn't stop it going in.

The Italians grew in stature and started to play some lovely possession football. Cunningham saved Scotland from going two down midway through the half with a great block to thwart the unmarked Italian captain Melania Gabbiadini.

Signeul sent Leanne Crichton on for Caroline Weir at the start of the second half, but Italy again came close to adding to their lead in the 47th minute. Daniela Sabatino was left one-to-one on Cunningham, but from an angle scooped her shot just over the bar.

Scotland came very close to equalising when, following a Little corner, Emma Mitchell's effort was cleared off the line. Having survived that scare Italy rubbed Scotland's nose in it with a second goal almost immediately, again from Girelli.

This time it was Scotland who responded within two minutes. Another Little corner fell to Mitchell and the Arsenal left back, who had a great game, headed in at the back post.

Better followed with ten minutes remaining. Substitute Lana Clelland, who plays for Bari, sent a lovely through ball to Little and the captain calmly rounded keeper Katja Schroffenegger and slipped the ball into the empty net.

With the Italians rattled if briefly looked as if Scotland could even snatch a win, but instead lost the game to a goal in the 90th minute as Stefania Tarenzi scored at the far post.

Even so, Scotland nearly got back on level terms again. Little crossed and Clelland just failed to get the decisive touch which would have beaten Schroffenegger.

Canada stay at the top of Group A on goal difference following a 1-0 win over the Republic of Korea earlier in the day. It was a bad tempered match, with one player from each side sent off.

Scotland: Cunningham; Frankie Brown, Dieke, McSorley, Mitchell; Weir (Crichton 46), Corsie; L Ross (Clelland 69), Little, J Ross (Lauder 60), Fiona Brown (Murray 85)

Subs not used: Arthur, Beattie, Fay (GK), Lynn (GK), Love, Smith