Scotland 1 –2 France
UEFA Women’s Under-19 Championship
Tuesday, 16 July 2019, 7.30pm kick-off
St. Mirren Park
France: Sandy Baltimore (60’), Naomie Feller (90’+1’)
Scotland: Emma Craig (81’)
Scotland suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat at the hands of France in their opening game of the WU19 Euros.
France needed an injury time winner to secure all three points after Emma Craig had equalised late on for Scotland, who put in a fighting performance throughout.
Scotland started the match well, with forwards Napier and McGovern pressing the French back line relentlessly.
It was the pair of Napier and McGovern who combined to create Scotland’s first chance, winning an early corner. The ball fell to Amy Muir from the resulting corner. But the Scotland captain dragged her shot wide from a promising position.
France almost took the lead soon after from a corner themselves; a ball to the back post was met by French centre back Lisa Martinez whose powerful header went narrowly past the post.
France’s pressure continued with both Dufour and Malard going close. The latter found herself free in the box after turning well but her effort was stopped by a superb challenge from Jenna Clark.
Malard went close again 5 minutes later.
Baltimore drove past two Scotland players to play in France’s number 9, who took an excellent first touch, but saw her shot saved by Allison in the Scotland goal.
Scotland’s defence remained resilient and the pace of Napier on the break was a constant threat to the French rear guard.
The hosts had chances of their own towards the end of the first half.
Jenna Clark rose well to meet a lofted free kick in the France penalty box, but France’s ‘keeper Lerond was on hand to gather.
Scotland started the second half brightly as Lauren Davidson tested Lerond in the France goal.
Her strike from 25 yards looked destined for the bottom corner but was well held by the French ‘keeper.
As Scotland pushed forward, spaces in the Scotland midfield started to show early in the second.
French midfielder Dufour almost took advantage, curling a shot just wide after finding herself free at the edge of the area.
France opened the scoring soon after, fifteen minutes into the second half. Sandy Baltimore, who had been impressive throughout, hit a cross-cum-shot from the left wing which looped perfectly over the head of Allison and into the Scotland net.
Scotland fought back well after going behind but couldn’t capitalise on set-pieces.
Davidson had another shot from distance that looked goal-bound, but it was well blocked.
Jamie-Lee Napier was Scotland’s main outlet all evening and her tireless running carried Scotland up the pitch on numerous occasions.
France remained dangerous on the counter-attack as Scotland pushed for an equaliser, which would eventually come through substitute Emma Craig.
Craig had her original effort blocked but was first to react to the resulting second ball. She struck a left footed shot past Lerond which nestled in the bottom corner.
Just rewards for Scotland who were the better side for much of the second half.
Lauren Davidson could have won it late on but sent her effort just wide after going through one-on-one.
And it was France who got the late goal in injury time.
Naomie Feller found space inside the box and fired her shot past Allison to seal the victory for France.
Scotland: Allison, Muir (Captain), Newsham (Mcgowan, 85’), Clark, Brown, McIntosh, McAlonie, McGovern (Connor, 80’), Napier, McCartney (Craig, 70’), Davidson
Unused substitutes: Mutch, Smith, McCafferty, McGowan, Morrison, Girasoli, Callaghan
France: Lerond, Martinez, Lakrar, Polito (Captain), Bussy, Malard, Le Mouël (Eninger,57’), Baltimore (Azzaro, 77’), Revelli, Philippe (Bacha, 70’), Dufour (Becho, 57’)
Unused substitutes: Innebeer, Saint-Georges, Jean-Francois
Scotland face Norway at Firhill on Friday in their second group game of the WU19 Euros.
The Norwegians will be eager to bounce back after a 5-0 at the hands of the Netherlands on match day one.
After Friday’s fixture, Scotland return to St. Mirren Park on Monday the 22nd to face the Netherlands.
Tickets can be purchased for Friday’s match and all remaining WU19 Euro fixtures HERE
Ticket prices begin at £2 for adults and £1 for concessions.