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Scotland 'closing the gap'
 Women's Football News 14 Mar 2008
Scotland competed well in the heat of the GSP Stadium in Nicosia on Wednesday afternoon against a strong Russian side before going down to a narrow 3-2 defeat.
Elana Morozova put Russia ahead after she controlled the ball on her chest and then rocketed the ball into the Scotland net in the 13th minute of the game. Scotland responded on 21 minutes when good pressure by Jo Love in midfield forced errors in the Russian defence which led to good combination play between Hamill and Kim Little, that ended in the latters' shot going wide of the outstretched hand of Maria Pigaleva after a deflection.
Scotland started the second half with intense pressure on the Russians which saw chances created for Kerr, Ross and Little, but the substitute keeper Elvira Todua mopped up the pressure. Russia took the lead again when a magnificent diagonal strike from Morozova flashed into right hand side of Fay's goal.
Further pressure from Scotland saw them lose a goal to a Russian counter attack, when a free kick from a wide area was converted in 85 minutes by Truntaeva, who volleyed the ball into the Scotland net.
Once again the Scots continued to be incredibly tenacious, pinning the Russians down in their own half with constant pressure, especially on the Russian goal. This pressure paid off when three minutes from time Hollie Thomson's shot was deflected in for a well deserved goal.
Anna Signeul commented to www.scottishfa.co.uk after the match: "We are disappointed at having lost this game today. We competed very well, and put the Russians under a lot of pressure from early in the game. This tournament has provided us with many positive aspects to be proud of with regard to our fitness, and the platform we provided for young players who have stepped up to the challenge, and competed incredibly well.
"I also think that these games have shown us that Scotland is closing the gap on the teams which have a higher FIFA Ranking than us. We must ensure we continue to support the players in order that they can compete on a level playing field."
Scotland: Gemma Fay, Rhonda Jones, Ifeoma Dieke, Michelle Kerr, Jennifer Beattie, Joanne Love, Stacey Cook, Amanda Burns, Kim Little, Megan Sneddon, Pauline Hamill. Subs: Joanna Hutchison, Julie Ferguson, Leanne Ross, Amy McDonald, Hollie Thomson, Natalie Ross, Joelle Murray, Suzanne Grant.

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