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Injury time heartbreak for Scotland
 Women's Football News 25 Oct 2012
 
Spain 3 (Adriana 74, Mesegeur 112, Boquete 120) Scotland 2 (Mitchell 62, Little 98)
after extra time; Spain won 4-3 on aggregate

Scotland suffered the cruellest of exits from the UEFA Womens' Championships as a goal from Veronica Boquete, literally scored with the last kick of the game, sent Spain through to the Finals in Sweden at their expense. 
 
Anna Signeul's side had battled heroically throughout the game and were seconds away from picking up the result they richly deserved in order to qualify for the Finals. Four years ago, Scotland suffering the agony of missing out on the Euro 2009 Finals on away goals but this result will be even harder to take.
 
Spain started the game at a fast pace with Boquete and Adriana Martin both shooting wide but Scotland weathered the early storm and began to create chances of their own. Jennifer Beattie and Jane Ross both fired shots over the bar and then Joanne Love played a good ball into the area for Beattie whose shot beat Ainhoa Tirapu but also went wide of the far post.
 
Scotland continued to press and went close again as Kim Little's free kick was headed on by Beattie and Rhonda Jones' header brought out a fine reaction save from Ainhoa.
 
There was a scare at the other end when Adriana made a powerful run into the area but Gemma Fay was quickly off her line to make a smothering save and keep the scoreline goalless at half time.
 
The pattern of the game continued at the start of the second half with Scotland on the front foot and beginning to look nervous. Beattie again looked a threat in the air and went close but the breakthrough came just after the hour mark.
 
Rachael Small broke down the right and slid a path into the path of Jane Ross who crossed for the oncoming Emma Mitchell to volley her shot into the roof of the net and give her side a crucial away goal.
 
The goal stunned Spain who stepped up the pace and Scotland found themselves under the cosh for the first time since the opening stages of the game. The home side went close on a couple of occasions but the scores were levelled when Adriana found space on the left and cut in to curl a delightful shot around Small and beyond the dive of Fay, finding the far corner.
 
Scotland were dealt another huge blow five minutes later when Rachel Corsie brought down Boquete and suffered a knee injury as a result. Corsie was stretchered off in pain and this left Scotland to cope with the remainder of the game without their two first choice central defenders, already being without long term injury victim Ifeoma Dieke.
 
Both teams could have snatched victory in the final minutes. Firstly, an inswinging corner from Little picked out an unmarked Eilish McSorley at the far post but she bundled the ball wide. Spain hit back immediately with Jennifer Hermoso slotting a great pass into the path of Boquete but she hit the side netting after being forced wide by Fay.
 
The opening moments of extra time were understandably cagey before a moment of brilliance from Kim Little tipped the balance in Scotland's favour. The midfielder picked the ball up and drove past two challenges and into the area where her left foot shot beat Ainhoa and in off the far post.
 
This left Spain needing to score twice and Scotland comfortably saw out the remainder of the first period. Early after the restart, Lisa Evans made a fine run down the left and into the area and cut the ball back for Little but this time she hesitated momentarily and was quickly closed down by the Spanish defence.
 
Spain needed a moment's inspiration to get themselves back in the game and it came with eight minutes left. There appeared little danger to Scotland as Silvia Meseguer received the ball 30 yards from goal but she unleashed an unstoppable shot which found the top corner of the net to lift the home side's spirits.
 
Now Scotland found themselves under tumultuous pressure but stood strong with Jones having a magnificent game in the centre of defence. Small headed a deep cross off the line and Fay twice came out to save well but the game looked to be up a minute from time when Hayley Lauder was penalised for handball and Spain were awarded a penalty. Boquete stepped up but Fay managed to tip her kick over the bar for her second penalty save of the tie.
 
Still Spain pressed and Scotland held out until the very last minute when the ball could only be cleared as far as the edge of the area where Boquete's shot was deflected past a helpless Fay and just inside the post.
 
The final whistle blew seconds later, with no time to restart. Pandemonium broke out as Spain celebrated frantically while Scotland's shellshocked players sank to the turf and were inconsolable. Once again, Anna Signeul's side had missed out on a major tournament by the tiniest of margins. 
 
Spain: Ainhoa Tirapu, Elisabeth Ibarra, Marta Torrejon, Melisa (sub Erika Vazquez 103mins), Silvia Meseguer, Miriam Dieguez, Jennifer Hermoso (sub Deborah Garcia 96mins), Sonia, Veronica Boquete, Adriana Martin, Sandra (sub Nagore Calderon 99mins). Subs not used: Maria Jose Pons, Leire Landa, Ruth Garcia, Willy.

Scotland: Gemma Fay, Rhonda Jones, Rachael Small, Emma Mitchell, Rachel Corsie (sub Eilish McSorley 79mins), Joanne Love, Hayley Lauder, Kim Little, Megan Sneddon (sub Suzanne Grant 118mins), Jennifer Beattie (sub Lisa Evans 81mins), Jane Ross. Subs not used: Shannon Lynn, Leanne Ross, Emma Fernon, Frankie Brown.


 
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