Women’s International Friendly
Norway 3-1 Scotland
Thursday, 17 January 2019
La Manga Club, Murcia, Spain
Scotland: Caroline Weir (53)
Norway: Caroline Graham Hansen (11), Lisa-Marie Utland (14), Caroline Graham Hansen (74)
Scotland’s 2019 began with a loss against Norway in what was a hard fought match in La Manga.
Two early goals were a setback for Shelley Kerr’s side but they grew into the game, hitting the back of the net through a Caroline Weir penalty kick.
Norway scored another though to secure a win for the side ranked 13th in the world.
Shannon Lynn started the game following her impressive performance against USA with Frankie Brown also included.
AFC Fiorentina star Lana Clelland led the line with Jen Beattie donning the captain’s armband in Rachel Corsie’s absence.
The last time the two sides faced each other was this time last year when Scotland lost 3-0.
Fellow FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, Norway, started the game promisingly and were two goals to the good with 15 minutes on the clock.
After 11 minutes a scintillating counter-attack allowed Caroline Graham Hansen the chance of a shot in the box and she coolly chipped the ball into the corner of the net.
Immediately from the restart Norway were close to making it two when Graham Hansen was clear in the box but this time Shannon Lynn did well to make the save.
14 minutes played and Norway scored again when Guro Reiten found the ball in the box following a defence splitting pass from midfield.
She squared it to Lisa-Marie Utland who was able to tuck the ball home.
Scotland probed the Norwgian’s goal for long periods of the half with the best chance coming shortly after the second goal when Lana Clelland curled an effort goalwards but saw it saved.
As the half progressed Norway had a number of other efforts but Scotland dealt with their attacks well.
At the break, Scotland were behind 2-0.
Claire Emslie and Joelle Murray came off the bench at the break with Emslie feeding the ball to Lizzie Arnot with one of her first touches. Arnot then shot towards goal and Caroline Weir hit the net but was adjudged to have strayed offside.
The Manchester City midfielder wasn’t to be denied and scored with a penalty after 53 minutes. Leanne Crichton was bundled down in the box and Weir smashed the ball into the net, in off the post.
Caroline Graham Hansen was a stand out for Norway and she made it three when she was clean through on goal and coolly slotted beyond Shannon Lynn.
Hansen nearly bagged a hat-trick but for the crossbar and then a great save from Lynn.
Scotland now take on Iceland on Monday at 3pm (UK time) in their final match of their training camp in La Manga.
They will then travel to Portugal at the end of February to compete in the Algarve Cup where they will face Iceland and Canada before playing a placing match.
Leanne Crichton said: “For the first game of the year it was tough for us to get going and the first 20 minutes were difficult.
“After that we found our feet and managed to work our way into the game.
“The goals that we lost were obviously disappointing but as a team we were able to regroup and organise.
“In the second half we then showed our qualities as a team.
“Personally, I was happy to start the game so that is a positive start for me in 2019.
“It was nice to get the opportunity and it was a great honour as it always is, when you pull on the Scotland jersey.
“Norway are a great side and tonight’s match was very similar to last year’s encounter but there were a lot of positives to take.
“Collectively we can take a lot from the match.”
Scotland: Lynn, Smith, Beattie (Captain) (Joelle Murray, 46), Frankie Brown, Lauder (Docherty, 63), Crichton (Love, 63), Christie Murray, Weir, Fiona Brown (Emslie, 46), Arnot, Clelland
Unused substitutes: Fife, Docherty, Graham, Ness, Grant, Ross, Arthur, Harrison, Cuthbert
Norway: Fiskerstrand, Skinnes-Hansen, Risa, Graham-Hansen, Utland, Engen, Reiten, Minde, Haavi, Hovland, Gausdal
Unused substitutes: Hjelmseth, Ryland, Asland, Leine, Nautnes, Gjoen, Kvamme, Eikeland, Naalsund, Jensen