USA narrowly defeats Scotland 1-0 in World Cup warm up


Scotland v USA (Friendly International Match, Tuesday 13 November 2018, St Mirren Stadium, Paisley, Attendance 3,790)

Authors: Roddy Speirs & Mark Szczuka

Looking at the statistics before tonight’s friendly match, you would have been forgiven for expecting a rather one sided affair.

Although Scotland have qualified for the Women’s World Cup in France next June this is the first time in their history they have managed this. Admittedly the tournament has expanded from 16 to 24 since 2015 making it slightly easier to qualify, but it is still considered a huge success story for Scottish Women’s football.

Their opponents tonight have qualified for all eight previous World cups.  They are current World Cup holders and have won it twice before as well, in 1991 and 1999. The two sides have met four times before, with the Americans winning all four encounters.  Scotland are currently ranked 19thin FIFA’s World ranking while the USA are number one.

Added to this was the fact that Scotland were missing several key players – they were without two of their usual starters with Kim Little and Sophie Howard both out with injuries. So on paper this definitely appeared to be a bit of a mis-match between the sides.

But the Scottish Women’s team are on a bit of a high just now.

Before tonight, Scotland had won their last five games (against Albania, Switzerland, Poland (twice) and Belarus) with their last match against Albania away securing a place at the World Cup in France next year.

This, in addition to the home advantage on a dark, cold night in the West of Scotland may help to explain why the match wasn’t as much of a one sided affair as some may have thought before kick-off.

For much of the first half the Scots didn’t look out of place playing against the number one ranked team in the world who are themselves on an 27-unbeaten game streak. They created two very good chances in the opening five minutes and could easily have gone ahead. But despite this early confidence the Scots probably showed the visitors too much respect, often with no-one pushing forward to provide a target for the Scotland defenders to find when they did win possession.

The only goal of the game came after a well struck shot on the volley by Orlando Pride’s Alex Morgan in the 38th minute. Despite having most of the possession, the Americans didn’t make Lee Alexander in the Scotland goal work too hard. The story continued in the second half, with the USA continuing to enjoy the bulk of the play but without being able to make it count.

In the 61stminute the USA should have scored a second when they were awarded a penalty, but Carli Lloyd, the American captain and twice FIFA World Player of the Year in 2015 & 2016 struck the cross bar with a ferocious shot, much to the delight of a young Scottish supporter sitting nearby who exclaimed loudly that she “almost knocked the goal down!”

Lana Clelland had the chance to pull the hosts level towards the end, but her shot after being through one on one with the keeper in the 80thminute was knocked out for a corner.

The Scots must be heartened by their performance tonight. As with many of these types of friendly games the performance was probably more important than the result. Both coaches took the opportunity to use a lot of substitutes in the second half.  Despite several of the Scots being part time players (three of the starting 11 for the Scots play for the Scottish Champions, Glasgow City, a part time club) they didn’t appear to tire in the second half.

Based on tonight’s performance against the current World Cup holders, the Scots can look forward to the draw for the World Cup in France on Saturday 8 December without worrying too much about who they will draw.


Scotland Squad

1          Lee Alexander (Glasgow City) (12 caps, 5 clean sheets)
Jenna Fife (Hibernian) (2 caps, 1 clean sheet)
Shannon Lynn (Vittsjo GIK) (27 caps, 8 clean sheets)

14        Chloe Arthur (Birmingham City) (15 caps – played in the 2-1 victory against Albania)
5          Jenny Beattie (Manchester City) (122 caps – 22 goals)
Frankie Brown (Bristol City) (92 caps – 0 goals)
4          Rachel Corsie (Canberra United) * (102 caps – 18 goals)
Nicola Docherty (Glasgow City) (12 caps -0 goals, hasn’t played since 2017).
Joelle Murray (Hibernian) (45 caps – 1 goal hasn’t played since 2017)
Kirsty Smith (Manchester United) (29 caps – 0 goals)

Lizzie Arnot (Manchester United) (17 caps)
Leanne Crichton (Glasgow City) (59 caps – 3 goals – has played twice against USA)
7          Hayley Lauder (Glasgow City) (92 caps – 9 goals)9
6          Jo Love (Glasgow City) (185 caps – 13 goals)
Christie Murray (Liverpool) (56 caps – 4 goals)
9          Caroline Weir (Manchester City) (54 caps – 6 goals)

20        Fiona Brown (FC Rosengård) (31caps – 2 goals)
Lana Clelland (ACF Fiorentina) (21 caps – 2 goals)
22        Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea) (23 caps – 7 goals)
18        Claire Emslie (Manchester City) (14 caps – 3 goals)
Lisa Evans (Arsenal) 75 caps – 17 goals)
Zoe Ness (Durham United) (3 caps – 1 goal)
13        Jane Ross (West Ham United) (120 caps – 57 goals) scored against Albania to helpsend Scotland to World Cup.


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