Men’s A

Scotland started their qualification campaign for the 2016 UEFA European Championships in September with the tough task of facing the world champions Germany in Dortmund. The hosts took the lead in the first half with a Thomas Müller header but Scotland equalised in the second-half with an outstanding goal from Ikechi Anya. Unfortunately, Gordon Strachan’s team could not hold on to a point, as Müller netted his second of the match with 20 minutes left at the Signal Iduna Park.

Women’s A

Scotland played their final two fixtures of their FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying group in September, and secured their place in the play-offs with an emphatic 9-0 victory over the Faroe Islands at Fir Park. The win also meant that if Scotland could defeat Sweden by two goals or more in their final group match in Gothenburg, they would skip the play-offs and qualify automatically for the finals in Canada next summer. It was not meant to be, however, as goals from Therese Sjogran and Lotta Schelin meant Scotland would have to face the Netherlands in a play-off semi-final the following month. 

Youth Teams

Gareth Evans’ Scotland Women’s Under-19 made history this summer, becoming the first Scottish team to win a match at a major women’s football tournament.

First half goals from Caroline Weir and Zoe Ness against Belgium guaranteed Scotland all three points against Belgium in their opening group match of the UEFA European Championships in Norway. The team finished third in Group A, following a narrow loss to the Netherlands and a defeat to the hosts, but returned back to Scotland having passed another landmark in the development of women’s football in this country.

Elsewhere, the start of the season meant the return of European football for the other age groups, with the Under-17s and Women’s Under-19 both qualifying for the Elite Round of European Championship qualifying for the 2014/15 season. The Women’s Under-17s, lead by Pauline Hammill, enjoyed a successful trip to Italy, in which they won and drew in their two matches against the hosts.

In other friendly matches, Scotland Under-19s drew 2-2 at home to the Czech Republic, while the Under-21s finished their qualifying group with a draw away to Slovakia and a 3-0 win against Luxembourg.

History was also made in September, when Zak Rudden netted the first goal for Scotland scored by a Performance School pupil in a 2-1 victory for Scotland Under-15s in Stirling.

In other news…

Scotland star Kim Little was named the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Most Valuable Player in August, following her performances for Seattle Reign. Little scored 16 goals for the Reign, as they narrowly missed out to FC Kansas City in the final of the NSWL Championship.