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Scotland edge closer to play-offs
 Women's Football News 22 Jun 2012
 
Republic of Ireland 0 Scotland 1 (Corsie 25)
A first half Rachel Corsie goal was enough to give Scotland a hard fought win in Cork, as Anna Signeul's side moved three points clear of third placed Wales in Group Four. 
 
The Glasgow City defender's second goal in two games leaves Scotland looking for one point from their remaining matches against Wales and France in September to secure a play-off place for UEFA Women's Euro 2013.

Scotland dominated proceedings in the first half, but had to hang on to their slender lead as the home side roared into action after the break, chasing the win they needed to stay in contention for a play-off place.

Jane Ross' pace caused problems in the Republic of Ireland defence from the outset. The Glasgow City forward raced clear on goal to draw the first save of the game from Emma Byrne. She then got onto the end of a Hayley Lauder ball, but her low cross into the box was just behind strike partner Jennifer Beattie.

Byrne then pulled off a great block to deny Ross, and Lauder fired high over the bar from the resultant corner, before Scotland's pressure eventually led to the opening goal.

Beattie's header from a Kim Little corner was saved by their Arsenal team mate Byrne and Corsie, who got the final goal in Scotland's 8-0 win over Israel on Saturday, was there to fire in from close range.

Another defender, Celtic's Rhonda Jones, had a great chance to double the lead when she slid in on another Little corner, but couldn't connect. Lauder, Ross and Little all had opportunities as Scotland took control of the midfield, preventing the home side from recording a single shot on goal in the first half.

Republic of Ireland came flying out of the traps after the break, with substitute Denise O'Sullivan providing fresh impetus. Gemma Fay had to race out of the box to kick clear at the feet of Shannon Smyth, then made her first save of the game when Niamh Fahey fired in a low shot.

Scotland had another opportunity to add to their lead before being forced to defend for the rest of the half. Jo Love found the feet of Beattie with a lovely threaded pass, and her powerful shot drew a great save from Byrne.

The home side threw everything at Scotland as the half wore on, but Signeul's side defended resolutely. Republic of Ireland were caught offside repeatedly as the half wore on. Their best chance came when Aine O'Gorman headed just over under pressure in the crowded penalty box.
 
Fay made a number of key saves, and a superb Dieke headed clearance from O'Sullivan kept Scotland's lead intact.

Republic of Ireland: Emma Byrne, Meabh de Burca, Sophie Perry, Louise Quinn, Yvonne Tracy, Niamh Fahey, Ciara Grant, Ruesha Littlejohn (sub Denise O'Sullivan 45mins), Shannon Smyth (sub Fiona O'Sullivan 79mins), Julie-Ann Russell (sub Stephanie Roche 83mins), Aine O'Gorman. Subs not used: Eve Badana, Michelle O'Brien, Marie Curtin, Diane Caldwell.

Scotland: Gemma Fay, Rhonda Jones, Rachael Small, Ifeoma Dieke, Rachel Corsie, Joanne Love, Hayley Lauder (sub Lisa Evans 68mins), Kim Little, Megan Sneddon, Jennifer Beattie (sub Leanne Ross 75mins), Jane Ross. Subs not used: Shannon Lynn, Emily Thomson, Emma Fernon, Frankie Brown, Emma Mitchell.


 
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