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ITALY 2 SCOTLAND 0
Two late goals spoiled a solid Scotland performance in a game hampered by driving rain and strong winds and they were beaten 2-0 by Italy in their second Cyprus Cup match in Larnaca.
Scotland were disciplined and organised, but neither side dominated during an evenly matched first half. Italy looked dangerous going forward, but the Scotland defence, which showed two changes from the opening game, was composed. Jennifer Beattie replaced the injured Rhonda Jones at right back, while Emma Fernon came in for Kirsty McBride on the left. Fernon had a busy afternoon, doing everything that was asked of her as she shackled the pacey Camporese.
Scotland created chances - Jane Ross in particular finding plenty of space on the left wing - but the final ball was lacking. Suzanne Grant broke free as the half came to an end, getting on the end of a perfectly weighted Fernon pass, but was flagged offside.
Conditions deteriorated in the second half, as Scotland continued to match the Italians all over the pitch. Scotland's defence coped well as Italy applied pressure. Rachel Corsie shepherded the ball out after a dangerous free kick into the box, while Gemma Fay pulled off a string of saves.
Scotland's hard work looked like it might pay off as they began to enjoy their best period of the match. A header on by Grant sent Pauline Hamill racing free in the box, only to be pulled back after a tight offside call. Substitute Hayley Lauder, picking up her first Scotland cap, called Italian 'keeper Marchitelli into action, after getting on the end of a Beattie cross.
However it was Italy who grabbed the opener in the 83rd minute. Scotland were caught ball watching as a long throw bounced in the box, and fell to Tuttino, who lobbed Fay.
As Scotland pressed for the leveller, Camporese broke forward and squared to Domenichetti to wrap up the points a minute from time. There was further disappointment for the Scots when Grant was stretchered off after taking a knock to the foot. Her replacement Diana Barry had a chance to pull one back in the dying seconds when she got on the end of a Leanne Ross free kick, but her effort flashed wide.
Scotland coach Anna Signeul told www.scottishfa.co.uk: "It's so disappointing to lose in this way. We were disciplined and well organised, we defended well and we prevented their playmakers from getting on the ball. Our game plan worked well for 83 minutes and then a lapse of concentration cost us.
"With the new March to November season for women's football in Scotland, most of our players hadn't kicked a ball before this week, but we are improving with every game and put in a solid performance against a top side. The smallest mistakes are punished at this level, and our young players in particular will learn from this experience."
Scotland: Gemma Fay, Jennifer Beattie, Emma Fernon, Ifeoma Dieke, Leanne Ross, Joanne Love (sub Joelle Murray 87mins), Kim Little, Rachel Corsie, Suzanne Grant (sub Diana Barry 86mins), Pauline Hamill, Jane Ross (sub Hayley Lauder 55mins) Subs not used: Kirsty McBride, Shannon Lynn, Frankie Brown, Christie Murray.
(Report from www.scottishfa.co.uk)
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