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Women's Football News
Goals from Jennifer Beattie, Julie Fleeting, Rachel Corsie and Suzanne Grant gave Scotland a comfortable victory over Greece in Dumbarton on Saturday afternoon, and set up a winner-takes-all clash against Group Three leaders Denmark.
Scotland must win their final match in Denmark on Wednesday to take top spot and qualify for the play-offs for the Women's World Cup Finals in Germany next year.
Anna Signeul's side were dealt a blow when Fleeting limped off with an ankle knock, leaving the Arsenal striker a doubt for next week's game.
The home side got off to a bad start, conceding a penalty inside six minutes. Goalkeeper Gemma Fay hesitated on the edge of her box, allowing Maria Adamaki to grab possession, and pulled her back as she darted towards goal. Danai-Eleni Sidira stepped up to put Greece into the lead.
Scotland quickly recovered and began to dominate all over the park. Grant and Jo Love both had chances as Scotland poured forward, and Megan Sneddon looked to have grabbed the equaliser on 20 minutes, but her powerful shot was deflected onto the post.
Beattie, the goal hero when Scotland grabbed a 1-0 win in Athens on the opening day of the qualifying campaign, levelled just two minutes later. Sneddon sent in an inswinging corner and the Arsenal defender fired in a powerful header.
Another Sneddon corner produced the second goal. This time it was Fleeting who was on hand to knock the ball in from close range.
Greece registered just one more shot on target in the first half, but Adamaki's shot was held by Fay.
Scotland had a penalty shout waved away just before half time when Fleeting claimed she was pulled down in the box. The half ended badly for the influential striker as she limped off at the break after making a block.
Young Celtic striker Christie Murray entered the fray as Scotland kept up the pressure in the second half.
Jo Love and Kim Little were controlling the midfield as Scotland created chance after chance. Grant and Pauline Hamill both came close, while Beattie looked determined to add to her goal tally as she pushed forward from defence, trying her luck from distance and getting her head on the ball inside the box.
Arsenal midfielder Little, in a player-of-the-match performance, made space for herself on the edge of the box to set up Love, but her looping shot sailed just over the bar.
Scotland were doing everything but hitting the net, before yet another Sneddon corner set up defender Rachel Corsie, who rose to head the ball in on 81 minutes.
Grant put the result beyond doubt two minutes later, chipping over the Greek goalkeeper from distance.
Scotland now sit just a point behind Denmark, but the group leaders' superior goal difference means that Scotland must win to go top after the final round of fixtures on Wednesday.
Scotland: Gemma Fay, Emma Fernon, Jennifer Beattie, Ifeoma Dieke, Rachel Corsie, Joanne Love, Suzanne Grant (sub Leanne Ross 90mins), Kim Little (sub Rhonda Jones 87mins), Megan Sneddon, Julie Fleeting (sub Christe Murray 45mins), Pauline Hamill. Subs not used: Shannon Lynn, Jane Ross, Frankie Brown, Joelle Murray.
Greece: Eleni Charalampidou, Eleni Kakambouki, Despina Papadopoulou, Glykeria Gkatzogianni (sub Sofia Koupetsidou 86mins), Maria Adamaki (sub Panagiota Tselekoglou 63mins), Danai-Eleni Sidira, Natalia Chatzigiannidou, Dimitra Panteleiadou, Maria Mitkou, Kalomoira Kontomichi (sub Efthichia Michailidou 86mins), Vassiliki Kydonaki. Subs not used: Aikaterini Falida, Eirini Vlasiadou, Efrosini Xera, Panagiota Chalkiadaki.
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