In the first part of the review of 2014, we look at how the Scotland teams faired in the first three months of the year, including the A squad's visit to Poland, the women's team's progress in the Cyprus Cup, and European success for Scotland Under-17s.
Gordon Strachan’s only match during this period kicked-off what proved to be a successful 2014, with Scott Brown scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Poland in Warsaw in March. The match came just weeks after the European Qualifying draw, in which Scotland were paired with Poland once more, along with Germany, Republic of Ireland, Georgia and Gibraltar.
After a 3-1 loss away to Finland in their opening match of the year, Anna Signeul’s side travelled to warmer climes for the annual Cyprus Cup. Scotland remained unbeaten in their four matches at the tournament, including the notable scalps of the Netherlands and Australia, as well as impressive draws against France and South Korea.
March saw the Under-17’s host their elite round European Championship qualifiers against Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belgium and Romania. After a 2-0 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina in the opening match at Rugby Park, a 3-1 win against Belgium at Cappielow secured Scotland’s place at the eight-team finals with a game to spare. Scot Gemmill’s side completed the elite round with a 100% record, defeating Romania in the final match by a single goal.
Scotland’s friendly in Poland in March was one of three international fixtures on that day. Earlier in the afternoon, Ricky Sbragia’s Under-19 outfit defeated Switzerland 4-2 in Livingston, while at Tannadice that night over 4,000 turned out to watch an entertaining 2-2 draw between Scotland Under-21s and Hungary.
In other news
The new Scotland away kit was launched in February at the JD Sports store on Glasgow’s Buchanan Street. The kit, inspired by the Rosebery from years gone by, proved to cause quite the storm on social media, with over 1.7 million people seeing the kit on Facebook. The shirt split opinion amongst supporters and media alike, and was even the subject of an article in The Guardian’s fashion section.