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Emma rescues draw for Scotland
 Women's Football News 5 Aug 2012
 
Scotland 1 (Mitchell 89) Iceland 1 (Jessen 82)
Two goals in the last eight minutes rounded off an entertaining match in Greenock, as Scotland showed their determination ahead of the final UEFA Women's Euro 2013 qualifiers against Wales and France in September.

Substitute Sandra Maria Jessen thought she had sealed the win for the visitors just minutes after entering the fray, but Emma Mitchell hit back in the same manner, equalising with practically her first touch of the ball.

Scotland coach Anna Signeul predicted that Iceland would provide a tough test for a Scotland side brimming with confidence, after wins over Israel and Republic of Ireland left them needing just one point from their remaining two qualifiers to reach the play-offs.
 
Iceland, currently top of their own Euro qualifying group, were first to settle under the Greenock sunshine, demonstrating their attacking threat. Gemma Fay was forced into a near post save on ten minutes when some nice footwork from Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir took her past two Scottish defenders. She released a perfect pass into the path of Holmfridor Magnusdottir, whose rocket shot was palmed round the post by the alert Fay.

Jo Love was first to venture forward for Scotland, but her lobbed effort toward the back post was easily read by Thora Helgadottir in the Icelandic goal.
 
The match was swinging from end to end, with neither side creating any real clear cut chances, but Iceland carved out a golden opportunity as the half drew to a close.

Dora Maria Larusdottir played a brilliant defence-splitting pass through to Fanndis Fridriksdottir, but Fay dived at her feet to thwart the danger. The ball spilled from her grasp and found it's way back out to Fridriksdottir, whose shot was pushed around the post.

The second half started at a frenetic pace. Within seconds of the restart Iceland nearly had the ball in the net when a cross from the left was cleared off the line by Rachael Small and Larusdottir somehow also managed to nod the ball clear rather than heading it home.

It was a lucky break for the home side, but Scotland showed determination to grab the opener as they started finding gaps in the Icelandic defence. Love played Hayley Lauder out wide, but her cross was just out of Leanne Ross' reach at the back post. At the other end, Fay continued a fine display as she cleared a Magnusdottir header from close range.

Scotland's midfield pairing of Lauder and Sneddon were working hard to create openings for their attacking counterparts but both teams seemed to be cancelling each other out, and a flurry of substitutions from the visitors broke up play.
 
The crowd were on their feet as a Lauder strike from some 25 yards looked goalbound, but cracked off the bar. Scotland were enjoying their best period of the match as they pressed for the opener, but it was Iceland who made the breakthrough.

A cross from the right made its way through a throng of players in the box to find Jessen unmarked and ready to fire the ball home.

Ross left the field after taking a knock in the build up to the opening goal, to be replaced by Glasgow City team mate Mitchell, who immediately made her presence felt. She raced down the left wing and picked up the ball in the box, firing across the goal and into the net to draw Scotland level in the final minute.
 
Scotland will play a final friendly match at the end of August, before travelling to Wales on Saturday 15th September. The final match of the Euro qualifying campaign will come against France at Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh, on Wednesday 19th September.

Scotland: Gemma Fay, Rhonda Jones, Rachael Small (sub Frankie Brown 84mins), Leanne Ross (sub Emma Mitchell 80mins), Rachel Corsie, Joanne Love (sub Suzanne Lappin 70mins), Hayley Lauder, Megan Sneddon, Jennifer Beattie, Lisa Evans, Emma Fernon. Subs not used: Shannon Lynn, Nicola Docherty, Rebecca Dempster, Eilish McSorley.

(www.scottishfa.co.uk)

 
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