SWNT dominate but are unable to find the net
Women’s International Challenge Match
Scotland 0-0 Russia
Pinatar Football Arena, San Pedro del Pinatar
Monday, 22 January 2018, 2pm (UK time)
Scotland ended their week’s stay in the Spanish sunshine with a 0-0 draw against Russia.
Ranked two places below Scotland in the FIFA World Rankings, Shelley Kerr’s side looked the most likely team to score during the 90 minutes but were unable to break down the Russian defence.
Shelley Kerr made eight changes to the team who lost 3-0 to Norway on Friday with Shannon Lynn becoming the third goalkeeper to play in two games and Jenny Beattie captained the side for the second time in her 110 caps.
Scotland started brightly with Caroline Weir fizzing a free-kick inches by the post in the opening five minutes.
Hayley Lauder then tried her luck from distance but couldn’t keep the ball down as it flew over the bar.
Jane Ross had two good opportunities to find the net from dangerous crosses into the box but on both occasions was unable to steer the ball home.
At the break the scores were goalless with Russia failing to threaten in the first 45 minutes.
The second-half continued in similar vein but Scotland struggled to penetrate the Russian backline.
The match will live long in the memory of Abi Harrison with the Hibernian striker making her Scotland debut, replacing Jane Ross.
Harrison was a bright spark when she came on and was close to scoring from a shot inside the box but it rolled wide of the target.
In the dying moments she assisted Caroline Weir who made her way into a promising position but hit the ball high and wide of the target.
Abi Harrison: “Making my Scotland debut is something I’ve been working towards for a long time so I’m delighted to finally do it. It tops off what has been a really enjoyable trip.
“This has been a step up from what I’m used to at Hibernian but it’s been about learning from the more experienced players and coaches.
“I had a chance late on and I was disappointed to see it go wide but it’s just made me hungry for my next opportunity.
“I was first called up to the squad in 2016 and haven’t been in since so getting a recall is something I’ve been working towards.
“Despite not winning either game the two matches have really helped our World Cup qualifying preparations.”
Scotland will return to Pinatar next month where they will embark on another training camp before playing two matches against New Zealand.
They will take on New Zealand on Saturday 3 and Tuesday 6 March.
Following that double header, the World Cup qualification campaign begins again, facing Switzerland and Poland in April.
Scotland: Lynn (Fife, 76), McLauchlan, Smith (Arthur, 61), Beattie (Captain), Howard, Small, Weir, Fiona Brown (Emslie 69), Lauder, Christie Murray, Ross (Harrison, 76)
Unused substitutes: Frankie Brown, Love