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Women's Football News
Scotland 0 France 5 (Delie 16,72, Le Sommer 34,66, Necib 64)
Scotland ended their UEFA Women's Euro 2013 qualifying campaign with defeat to an impressive France side at Tynecastle.
However, Anna Signeul's side will take their place in Friday's play-off draw after a 2-1 win over over Wales last weekend.
Scotland went into tonight's match with a slim chance of qualifying automatically as best runner-up. That place now goes to Holland after braces from Eugenie Le Sommer and Marie-Laure Delie and a strike from Louisa Necib sealed the French side's 100% record in Group Four.
The quality of the World Cup and Olympic semi finalists was evident from kick off when slick passing on the right created a shot for Le Sommer, who blasted over. Shortly afterwards the towering Wendie Renard headed inches over the bar.
But the Scots stayed in the game. The pace of Lisa Evans broke through the French defensive line only for goalkeeper Celine Deville to cut off her run. Evans' desire to run the channels was one of Scotland's most potent threats in the early exchanges.
Scotland harried and closed down the athletic French team well. This attitude paid dividends when Megan Sneddon volleyed ten yards over after the French defence made a hurried clearance.
On 16 minutes, France took the lead when Delie coolly slotted a low shot past Gemma Fay.
France fell into a good tempo and showed some flowing passing moves worthy of their credentials as one of the best in the world. Necib, labeled 'the female Zidane' by the French media, took her time to get into the match. But when she did, she impressed the crowd with a cute swivel and turn which took out two Scottish defenders. Camille Abily almost doubled the lead in style when her 30-yard strike thundered off the cross bar.
It was Le Sommer who struck next when she headed home from three yards to make it 2-0.
A defence splitting pass from Joanne Love set up Evans, who had a chance to end the half on a high for the home side, but her shot was blocked by Deville.
Scotland went for broke in the second half, pressing forward in numbers, however a clinical French side exploited the gaps. Hayley Lauder made a direct run down the left which resulted in a lay-off for Kim Little, but she shot wide.
The move acted as a confidence booster when Evans, again on the left, ran 30 yards and chipped the keeper only for the ball to spin off the post.
Three goals for the visitors in a devastating eight-minute spell put the result beyond doubt.
Necib expertly beat her marker to drive through on goal before unleashing an unstoppable strike low past Fay.
Le Sommer got her brace when she netted from five yards two minutes later. Delie then made it 5-0 on 72 minutes when she came out on top in a one-on-one with Fay, ten yards out.
The final chances of the match fell to Scotland. Substitute Jennifer Beattie came close with a thunderous free kick and Evans was closed down when she attempted to round Deville with the goal gaping.
Scotland: Gemma Fay, Rhonda Jones (sub Jennifer Beattie 73mins), Frankie Brown, Emma Mitchell (sub Suzanne Grant 70mins), Rachel Corsie, Joanne Love, Hayley Lauder, Kim Little (sub Emma Fernon 85mins), Megan Sneddon, Jane Ross, Lisa Evans. Subs not used: Shannon Lynn, Rachael Small, Eilish McSorley, Leanne Ross.
France: Celine Deville, Wendie Renard, Laure Boulleau, Louisa Necib, Ophelie Meilleroux (sub Julie Soyer 62mins), Sandrine Soubeyrand (sub Camille Catala 62mins), Corine Franco, Marie-Laure Delie, Eugenie Le Sommer, Camille Abily (sub Elodie Thomis 78mins), Gaetene Thiney. Subs not used: Sarah Bouhaddi, Laura Georges, Sonia Bompastor, Julie Morel.
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