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Women's Football News
SCOTLAND 8 (Little 39,87, Hamill 40, Fleeting 53,58,64,90, Grant 60)
BULGARIA 1 (Koslova 21)
Scotland defeated Bulgaria 8-1 on Thursday night at the Falkirk Stadium to continue their great run in the FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying campaign with four wins out of four.
Julie Fleeting was on target to score four of Scotland's goals making it 111 goals in 111 games for one of the nation's greatest ever players. It is perhaps no coincidence that Scotland's goalscoring form has returned with Fleeting back in the side and the team will be full of confidence after a great display against the Bulgarians.
The match was not all according to plan however when, totally against the run of play, the visitors opened the scoring on 20 minutes through Lilyana Kostova. Scotland did however respond through Kim Little and it was just reward for their total control of the match so far. Centre half Ifeome Dieke played a high ball into the box which was met by a late run from Little and after turning the defence inside out, the midfield star slotted home to get Scotland back into the game.
Less than a minute later, Scotland went ahead. Leanne Ross made a great run down the right hand side and as she shaped to shoot, the midfielder unselfishly played the ball inside to Pauline Hamill who duly converted to give the home side the lead they deserved.
Eight minutes after the restart and Fleeting made it 3-1 to the Scots when Suzanne Grant crossed for Fleeting and Scotland's all time leading goalscorer does what she does best, with a brilliant header into the bottom corner.
Fleeting then got her second of the match. A cross from full back Jenny Beattie met the great run of Fleeting who bulleted her header into the back of the Bulgarian net. Now in complete control, Scotland went 5-1 ahead, with Suzanne Grant lobbing the keeper from the far corner of the box to get the goal her play deserved.
Fleeting completed her hat-trick on 65 minutes, making it 6-1 for the Scots, when she turned her marker expertly at the edge of the box and hit an unstoppable shot into the left hand corner of the net. Little then scored her second to make it 7-1 when she turned and shot in the box and Fleeting added number eight and her fourth of the match when she headed home a left footed cross from substitute Kirsty McBride.
A delighted Scotland boss, Anna Signuel said after the match, "It was an excellent game. I thought we played very well and passed the ball very well. Unfortunately we conceded another goal again and we need to stop that. However to see the team scoring so many goals is excellent. The finishing was very good tonight and we are very happy. I am particularly pleased for Julie Fleeting to score four goals, as she is such an excellent and important player for us."
Scotland: Gemma Fay, Rachel Corsie, Jennifer Beattie, Ifeoma Dieke, Leanne Ross, Joanne Love, Emma Fernon, Kim Little, Suzanne Grant, Julie Fleeting, Pauline Hamill. Subs: Megan Sneddon, Rhonda Jones, Kirsty McBride.
(Report by Laura Montgomery)
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