First half goal seals win for the hosts
FIFA World Cup 2019 Qualifiers
Switzerland 1-0 Scotland
Thursday, 5 April 2018, kick-off 6pm (UK time)
Lipo Park, Schaffhausen
Switzerland: Lara Dickenmann (32)
Scotland have lost the first match of their double header, losing out 1-0 to Switzerland in a tough match against the top ranked side in the World Cup Qualifying group.
A Lara Dickenmann strike after half an hour was all that could separate the sides in a match were Switzerland dominated the first half but Scotland came into their own in the second period.
Despite having a lot of possession, they lacked chances in front of goal, allowing Switzerland to continue to top the group table.
Scotland’s third match in their World Cup qualifying group marked Kim Little’s return from injury following a year out.
Sophie Howard played her fourth consecutive match for Scotland, at right back and Jane Ross joined Erin Cuthbert up front.
Switzerland began the game with talismanic striker Ramona Bachmann who was a threat for the hosts in the opening 20 minutes but she was met by a stout Scottish defence who limited her chances.
Switzerland were close to taking the lead with 25 minutes on the clock through Alisha Lehmann but she was matched by Lee Alexander who palmed the ball to safety.
With 32 minutes played, Switzerland took a deserved lead through Lara Dickenmann. She drove to the edge of the box before sliding it into the corner of the net.
The Swiss captain nearly made it two just a minute later with another shot from a similar distance but the ball trickled wide of the target.
At the break, Switzerland led 1-0 and moments into the second half Lee Alexander made a terrific point blank save.
Scotland saw a lot of the ball in the second half with their best effort coming through Caroline Weir who saw a long-range effort fly over the bar.
At the other end Switzerland were dangerous on the counter-attack and Alexander had to be on her guard as substitute Marilena Widmar ghosted by Emma Mitchell but the Glasgow City stopper was able to make the save.
As the game edged to a close, Scotland fought hard for an equaliser but were unable to find an equaliser.
Shelley Kerr said: “It was tough, like we thought it would be, against a top team. I didn’t think we started the game very well and it took us a bit of time to cope with their pace and energy, especially up front.
“At half-time once we made a few changes tactically, I thought it worked better for us. We were able to keep possession more, albeit we didn’t create many chances but let’s not forget they are a quality team and we’re going through a process of learning how to play against that level of opposition.
“I thought we took another stride forward tonight.
“That second half performance gives me a lot of hope going forward. There was some great individual performance and when you play against a team like that you know you’re not going to get many chances.
“It’ll be a different game against Poland and people will say we’ll be under pressure as it’s a home game but we’re always under pressure to perform.
“I can’t wait for Tuesday as we know we have the players and quality in our ranks to put things right and get a win.”
Scotland’s journey to the World Cup intensifies further on Tuesday night when Poland visit the Paisley 2021 Stadium.
Scotland: Alexander, Mitchell, Corsie (Captain), Beattie, Lauder (Emslie, 74), Little, Weir, Evans (Fiona Brown, 89), Ross, Howard, Cuthbert
Unused subs: Lynn, Love, Arthur, Christie Murray, Emslie, Ness
Switzerland: Thalmann, Maritz, Crnogorcevic, Bachmann, Dickenmann (Captain), Walti, Kiwic, Calligaris, Aigbogun (Rinast, 84), Buhler, Lehmann (Widmer, 67)
Unused subs: Friedli, Brunner, Rinast, Reuteler, Zehnder, Ismaili