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Women's Football News
Scotland were beaten 4-1 by Italy on Wednesday night in front of a record women's international attendance in the country.
The match marked significant milestones in the careers of two members of Scotland line-up. Goalkeeper and captain Gemma Fay became the third Scottish player to win 100 caps after Pauline Hamill and Julie Fleeting, while Joanne Love made her 75th appearance at the age of 23.
Over 1,800 spectators turned out at Rugby Park to see Scotland dominate the early exchanges, with Arsenal's Suzanne Grant drawing a good save from A Maria Picarelli in the fifth minute.
Grant called Picarelli into action again a few minutes later, and had another run into the box halted by a well timed tackle in the fifteenth minute.
Joanne Love, Pauline Hamill and Megan Sneddon combined well as Scotland pushed forward looking for the opener. At the back, former Under-19 captain Rachel Corsie started her first home match with confidence, while 17-year-old Celtic defender Jennifer Beattie put in a player of the match performance at left back.
But it was Italy who took the lead against the run of play. With the Scotland defence stretched, Tatiana Zorri pounced on a loose ball in the box to tap home from close range in the 19th minute.
The goal seemed to rattle the confidence of the Scottish players, as Italy began to take control of the game. Italy added a second two minutes into the second half when Tona headed past captain Gemma Fay in the Scottish goal. The Italians were dominating the middle of the park and continued to test the Scottish defence.
Manieri made it 3-0 in the 72nd minute when her long range shot squeezed past Fay's fingertips into the bottom corner, with Vicchiarello chipping in the fourth two minutes later.
Scotland pulled back a late goal, when Hamill converted a penalty after strike partner Grant was floored.
Spartans forward Diana Barry won her first cap after replacing Grant and almost made a dream start when her powerful looping shot was punched clear by Picarelli in injury time.
Scotland Head Coach Anna Signeul said after the game: "This was a very disappointing performance, especially after we started off so well. Our heads seemed to go down after the first goal, and we allowed Italy to score a couple of very soft goals.
"I think we missed some of our big players tonight. Although young players like Rachel Corsie and Jennifer Beattie played very well at times, our inexperience showed and we looked vulnerable. But, the talent is there and we showed how well we can play in the early part of the game. As our younger players grow in confidence I know that we will be capable of getting the results we need."
Scotland: Gemma Fay, Rhonda Jones (sub Frankie Brown 81mins), Jennifer Beattie, Rachel Corsie, Leanne Ross, Joanne Love, Kim Little, Megan Sneddon, Suzanne Grant (sub Diana Barry 89mins), Pauline Hamill, Julie Ferguson (sub Kirsty McBride 59mins).
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