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Scotland sunk by Dutch
 Women's Football News 25 Feb 2010
Scotland were beaten 4-1 by Holland but by no means outplayed in their opening group match of this year's Cyprus Women's Cup.
With the game poised at 2-1 at half time, Scotland were eventually undone by two quick second half goals.
With top scorer Julie Fleeting starting on the bench in her first match since the birth of her daughter, it was Suzanne Grant and Pauline Hamill who led the line against their Dutch opponents and Grant caused problems in the first half, creating plenty of space for herself as Scotland controlled possession, with Kim Little fighting for every ball as Scotland dominated the midfield.
However Scotland were made to pay for failing to find the killer ball, when Holland took the lead on 14 minutes. Manon Melis pounced on Kirsty McBride's short headed back pass to knock the ball past Scotland goalkeeper Gemma Fay.
Grant had a chance to even things up a few minutes later when she got on the end of a long pass from midfield, but her lob sailed over the bar. Sylvia Smit then made no mistake when she doubled the Netherlands' lead on 28 minutes with a powerful shot from just outside the box.
Scotland continued to press forward and Grant and Little combined to haul their side back into the mix on the stroke of half time. A neat flick from Little at the goal line found the feet of Grant, who knocked the ball in from close range.
Holland came flying out of the traps in the second half, wrapping up the game with two goals inside ten minutes. Melis showed fantastic pace to race through the Scotland defence and lift the ball past Fay for her second and she was at the heart of the fourth goal, racing down the right wing to square the ball for Marlous Pieete to tap in.
Scotland had lost their first half momentum, but held firm as Holland poured forward. A great clearance from Rachel Corsie on the half hour wiped out another Dutch chance and Fay made a handful of late saves.
Scotland coach Anna Signeul made a number of changes as the game wore on. Fleeting looked lively when she replaced Grant and linked up well with Jane Ross to set up a late Hamill chance. Emma Fernon and young defender Jennifer Beattie both looked confident after replacing McBride and Ifeoma Dieke.
Anna Signeul told www.scottishfa.co.uk: "We played very well in the first half, even when we went 2-0 down. We played through midfield and created a lot of chances, but we should have been better with the final pass and the ball into the box.
"We showed that we are physical, we can play football, and we were absolutely as good as them, particularly in the first half. But we lost disappointing goals - a short back pass, a shot that we should have closed down, and two balls over the top on the counter attack.
"The substitutions that we made in the second half were very positive. We changed six players and I think they all did very well, which bodes well for the future."

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