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Women's Football News
Scotland 0 Italy 0
Italy held Scotland to a 0-0 draw despite Anna Signeul's side dominating their final group game at the Cyprus Women's Cup.
Both sides had goals chopped off and Kim Little had a late penalty saved in an absorbing encounter at the GSZ Stadium in Larnaca. Scotland finish second in their group and now face France in Wednesday's 3rd/4th place play-off.
Scotland carved out a couple of early opportunities. Leanne Ross whipped a free kick into the penalty box but no-one got a foot on the ball in the crowded penalty box. Rachel Corsie played a superb ball out of defence, but it was just in front of the onrushing Jo Love.
Scotland's best chance to open the scoring came in the ninth minute. Beattie got on the end of a ball out of midfield but her shot was straight at Chiara Marchitelli. The rebound fell to Little, who also fired straight at the keeper.
Italy failed to create any clear cut chances, but looked pacey going forward. Captain Alessia Tuttino sent a looping ball in from the left, but it was easily held by Gemma Fay in the Scotland goal.
Little dropped back into central midfield as Scotland fought to take control in the middle of the park, with Love pushing forward to support Beattie. Emma Fernon switched play with an inch-perfect cross to Love on the right wing, but Beattie couldn't get on the end of her pass.
With half an hour gone, Corsie connected with a Hayley Lauder corner, but her powerful header was straight at Marchitelli.
There was a scare for Scotland when Italy had the ball in the net on 40 minutes, but the offside flag was up. In the final seconds of the half, a Little cross was handled just outside the box, and Ross's curling free kick just grazed the bar.
Scotland did everything but score as the second half wore on. Another solid defensive performance from Corsie, Fernon, Ifeoma Dieke and Frankie Brown kept the Italians at bay. Little, Ross and Beattie all had chances as Scotland poured forward.
It looked as though the deadlock was broken on 76 minutes when Marchatelli pushed a Megan Sneddon corner into her own net under pressure from the Scotland forwards, but the whistle was blown for a foul on the Italian keeper.
Five minutes later Little placed the ball on the spot when Beattie was hauled down in the box, but her penalty was held by Marchatelli.
Fay suffered a facial injury after colliding with Carolina Pina in the box, but the Scotland keeper was able to see out the rest of the match.
Lauder hit the side netting from close range and substitute Suzanne Grant was flagged offside as Scotland pressed for the winner in the closing minutes.
Scotland: Gemma Fay, Emma Fernon, Jennifer Beattie, Ifeoma Dieke, Rachel Corsie, Jo Love, Leanne Ross (sub Suzanne Grant 72mins), Kim Little, Megan Sneddon, Frankie Brown, Hayley Lauder (sub Christie Murray 90mins). Subs not used: Shannon Lynn, Rhonda Jones, Jane Ross, Joelle Murray, Rachael Small, Rebecca Dempster.
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