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Late heartbreak for Scotland
 Women's Football Euros News - 18 Jul 2019
 
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 five 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 goalbound, 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.
 
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: Sophie Allison, Amy Muir, Charlotte Newsham (sub Rebecca McGowan 85mins), Jenna Clark, Rachel Brown, Kirstie McIntosh, Michaela McAlonie, Kathleen McGovern (sub Rachel Connor 80mins), Jamie-Lee Napier, Laura McCartney (sub Emma Craig 70mins), Lauren Davidson.
 
France: Justine Lerond, Lisa Martinez, Maelle Lakrar, Carla Polito, Kessya Bussy, Melvine Malard, Margaux Le Mouël (sub Thelma Eninger 57mins), Sandy Baltimore (sub Lorena Azzaro 77mins), Manon Revelli, Chloe Philippe (sub Selma Bacha 70mins), Julie Dufour (sub Vicki Becho 57mins).
 
(www.scottishfa.co.uk)

 

 
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