Scotland’s final match of the 2013/14 season was an “away” match against Nigeria at Fulham’s Craven Cottage. Charlie Mulgrew got Scotland off to the perfect start with an audacious back-hell over Nigerian goalkeeper Austin Ejide. The African team, who reached the last-16 in the World Cup the following month, levelled the proceedings through Michael Uchebo just before half-time. Scotland then took the lead once more through an own-goal from Azubuike Egwuekwe, but Gordon Strachan’s side were denied a victory in the last-minute as Nigeria earned a draw through Uche Nwofor.
Anna Signeul’s side returned to FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying in April, and secured two impressive victories within the space of a week. Goals from Lisa Evans and Leanne Crichton earned Scotland a 2-0 victory over Poland at Fir Park was followed up five days later by a 3-1 win away to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Scotland fell behind in Zenica, but a Jane Ross second-half hat-trick ensured that Scotland maintained their 100% record in Group 4.
Gareth Evans’ Scotland Women’s Under-19s qualified for the European Championships in April, successfully negotiating a difficult elite round to reach the finals in Norway in July. 2-0 victories over Russia and host-nation Croatia followed a 5-1 hammering of Iceland in the opening match to ensure that Scotland qualified as group winners.
In May, Scotland Under-17’s travelled to Malta for the UEFA European Championships. After a difficult start, losing 2-0 to Portugal, Scot Gemmill’s team responded in spectacular fashion, firstly defeating Germany 1-0 and then overcoming Switzerland 3-1 to book their place in the semi-finals. Unfortunately, Scotland were knocked out by the Netherlands in the semi-finals, but returned home with heads held high after finishing in the final four of Europe at that age group.
In other news…
Scotland may not have been at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil this summer, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t cherish one of the greatest goals in Scottish football. The night before the opening match of the tournament between Brazil and Croatia marked the anniversary of that goal from Archie Gemmill against the Netherlands in Mendoza. To commemorate the occasion, “live” commentary of the match was provided on the Scottish FA twitter account, including a tweet about Gemmill’s incredible strike.