Northern Ireland 1 -2 Scotland
Tuesday 10 March 2020
Scotland: Cuthbert (35), Grant (38)
Northern Ireland: Furness (5)
Scotland ended their Pinatar Cup campaign with maximum points after a hard-fought victory over Northern Ireland.
Shelley Kerr’s side had already won the tournament prior to kick-off and were presented with the trophy after a match where first-half goals from Erin Cuthbert and Abbi Grant sealed the win.
Scotland controlled the opening exchanges but found themselves behind after Rachel Furness headed home from a looping delivery.
The Liverpool player made no mistake from close range.
Martha Thomas could have equalised minutes later when she was played through on goal by Erin Cuthbert but snatched at her shot and sent it wide.
Northern Ireland almost made it two midway through the first half when goalscorer Furness again rose well in the box, but Rachel Corsie was on hand to clear her effort off the line.
That moment proved crucial for Scotland who would equalise soon after. Picking up the ball in a pocket of space, Cuthbert unleashed a fierce drive from outside the area which totally wrong footed Northern Ireland ‘keeper Jackie Burns as it flew into the net.
And just three minutes later Scotland were in front courtesy of Abbie Grant. The forward capitalised on a mistake in the Irish rearguard before finishing into the bottom corner from 12 yards out. That was her second goal in as many games for her country.
Sporting their newly released away kit, Scotland maintained the intensity of their first half performance into the second 45 and went close to scoring again shortly after the restart when Sophie Howard saw her effort cleared off the line.
Erin Cuthbert then took aim from a similar range that saw her score Scotland’s first goal of the evening, but this time Burns was well placed to stop the goal bound effort.
Cuthbert saw another long-range effort fly narrowly over the crossbar again moments later.
Jane Ross went closest to adding a third late on, but the impressive Burns was on hand to palm her right footed shot from the edge of the area over the bar.
The result bookends a successful tournament for Shelley Kerr’s side who will resume their EURO 2021 qualification campaign next month.
Scotland have already beaten Cyprus and Albania, and travel to face Cyprus again next month. That tie will be followed by a home match against Portugal.
Scotland: Lynn, Corsie, Docherty (Mitchell, 17), Boyle, Howard, Murray (Crichton, 65’), Grant (Lauder, 76’), Thomas (Muir, 84’), Graham (Weir, 65’), Cuthbert, Arnot (Ross, 84’)
Unused substitutes: Alexander, Fife, Kerr, Godfrey