Women’s Under-19 Elite Round
Scotland 0-0 Russia
Ainslie Park, Edinburgh
Sunday, 8 April 2018, 1pm
Scotland’s Women’s Under-19s Elite Round ended with a frustrating goalless draw in their final match against Russia.
With both sides winless going into the match, little more than pride was on the line and though Scotland could not find the goal their performance deserved they can hold their heads high after dominating the Russians for much of the game.
Scotland signalled their intentions early, controlling possession and probing at the Russian defence. It took until the fifth minute for Scotland to fashion their first clear cut chance, Napier cutting across her marker only to narrowly place her glancing header wide of the far post.
The effervescent McGregor was at the heart of Scotland’s patient play and almost opened the scoring with a dipping 25 yard effort after good wing play from Doran-Barr who cut the ball back across the box towards the Scotland 10.
Scotland’s attack was coming in waves now and a dangerous, whipped free kick on the left of the box from McGregor resulted in Hay hitting a dipping volley from the edge of the box mere inches over the bar.
Scotland should have taken the lead before half time. Magical wing play from Hay saw her cut in from the right, beating four or five Russian defenders to make her way into the six yard box before being stopped. The loose ball landed at the feet of Davidson eight yards from goal, who somehow contrived to lift the ball over the bar when it seemed easier to burst the net.
The second half began in similar fashion, Scotland enjoying the lion’s share of possession without testing the Russian goalkeeper.
The game sprang into life on 53 minutes, however. McGregor turned her marker on the right wing before playing a delightful ball across goal to Muir who battered a first-time volley goalward, only to be denied by a stunning save.
The resulting rebound fell kindly for Hay, who saw her effort from eight yards also beaten away by the valiant Stanovova in the Russian goal.
Russia began to mount more of a challenge as the game entered its final stages, with Clachers called into action twice in quick succession to repel Russian attacks.
Scotland almost made the vital breakthrough on the 71st minute, the irrepressible Napier causing all sorts of problems in the Russian area. Her dogged determination in chasing a lost cause created havoc in the Russian defence, with the resulting loose ball sitting up invitingly, her driven volley rattling the woodwork.
Kerr was the next to try her luck from distance for Scotland, pouncing on a wayward Russian pass in the 85th minute, but her measured drive flew narrowly over the bar.
The game became frantic in the final stages as both teams pressed for a win and though Scotland could not find the breakthrough their possession deserved, they can be proud of their performances throughout the tournament.
Scotland Head Coach Pauline Hamill: “We created enough chances to win the game while perhaps not playing at the same level we had played at in the first two games, but I think that is a by-product of the level and intensity of the two games we have played already.
“I don’t think they threatened us, I think we controlled the match and it’s just frustrating we didn’t get the victory.
“The tournament has been great, a brilliant experience for everybody.
“We have enjoyed the level of competition and what we have learned as a group, now it’s up to the players to take that forward and challenge themselves to be better.”
Scotland: (GK) Clachers, Muir, (C) Notley, McAlonie, Kerr, Newsham, McGregor, Hay, Doran-Barr (Gover), Napier, Davidson (Russell)
Subs: (GK) Cumings, Dalgliesh, Cairney, Russell, Connor, Brown, Eddie, Kane, Gover
Russia: (GK) Stanovova, Myagkova, Manuilova, Shkoda, Kuzmina, Kuropatkina, © Dubova, Shesterneva (Ruzina), Abramenko, Fedotova, Kharlampus (Ermolaeva)
Subs: (GK) Dronova, Maksimova, Nikitina, Ruzina, Ermolaeva, Organova, Dronova, Vankova