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Scotland book play-off place
 Women's Football News 15 Sep 2012
 
Scotland book play-off place - 15 Sep 2012 - Women's Football NewsWales 1 (Lander 37) Scotland 2 (Love 45, Little 68)
Scotland ensured themselves at least a play-off place in their UEFA Women's Championship qualifying group as they came from behind to beat Wales at the Parc y Scarlets. 
 
Anna Signeul's side required at least a point from their final two matches and, despite a valiant effort from the home side, their greater strength and experience saw them towards a deserved victory on the night.
 
There was an early scare for Wales as Jane Ross broke into the area and rounded goalkeeper Nicola Davies. The Welsh defence did well to recover and avert the immediate danger but Davies was still required to make a block from Jennifer Beattie.
 
Scotland continued to look sharp going forward with Beattie proving to be a handful up front and it took a good clearance from Sophie Ingle from a Kim Little cross to deny a good opportunity for the powerful striker.
 
Wales began to settle down as the half wore on and Sarah Wiltshire produced their first threatening effort on goal. Gemma Fay was called into action for the first time as she saved from a Jessica Fishlock free kick.
 
However as Wales were looking more threatening, Scotland went closest to going in front just after the half hour mark. A Beattie cross picked out Ross whose thundering shot came back off the bar with Davies beaten.
 
Five minutes later though and Wales were in front. Gwennan Harries initially did well to work herself an opening after evading three Scottish defenders and after her shot was parried by Fay, Helen Lander latched onto the rebound and expertly finished from a tight angle.
 
Wiltshire could even have doubled Wales' lead minutes later but her shot brought out a save from Fay.
 
On the stroke of half time, Little floated a corner into the area and Joanne Love powered a firm header into the back of the net for the equaliser.
 
With the game so delicately poised, there was plenty of tension at the start of the second half but it was Scotland who seized the initiative and sought a second goal.
 
Rachel Corsie went close as did Ross once again but Davies was in fine form in the Wales goal, reserving her best for a rasping Little shot which she turned over the bar.
 
However Davies could do nothing to prevent Scotland going ahead for the first time on 68 minutes as Little drove home a well struck shot from the edge of the area.
 
Wales now needed to push players forward to try and pick up the win they required and admirably put Scotland under pressure. However, the Scotland defence stood firm with the impressive Corsie marshalling in the centre.
 
With Wales committed forward, Scotland looked dangerous on the break with Beattie forcing a save from Davies and, after a goalmouth scramble following a free kick, Davies did well to make a block from Lisa Evans. Ross then threatened to break through and made her way into the area before being denied by good defensive play from Fishlock.
 
At the other end, Fay palmed away a Fishlock free kick and Hannah Keryakoplis fired a shot wide. Keryakoplis then had another opportunity when being found unmarked in the area by Wiltshire but an alert Fay was quick off her line to close her down and prevent the young striker from getting in a shot.
 
Scotland weathered the Welsh storm and celebrated at the final whistle, knowing that a place in the play-offs is secured. They now have a chance to go for automatic qualification as the best second placed team when they take on France at Tynecastle on Wednesday. 
 
Wales: Nicola Davies, Loren Dykes, Sophie Ingle, Kylie Davies, Jayne Ludlow, Jessica Fishlock, Natasha Harding (sub Hannah Keryakoplis 62mins), Michelle Green (sub Hayley Ladd 69mins), Helen Lander (sub Angharad James 84mins), Sarah Wiltshire, Gwennan Harries. Subs not used: Rhian Nokes, Nia Jones, Jodie Botteril, Megan Wynne.

Scotland: Gemma Fay, Rhonda Jones, Rachael Small, Frankie Brown, Rachel Corsie, Joanne Love (sub Lisa Evans 60mins), Hayley Lauder (sub Emma Mitchell 75mins), Kim Little, Megan Sneddon, Jennifer Beattie (sub Suzanne Grant 89mins), Jane Ross. Subs not used: Shannon Lynn, Eilish McSorley, Leanne Ross, Emma Fernon.

 
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