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Scotland so near to Final
 Women's Football News 11 Mar 2014
 
Australia 2 (Hayman 64,74) Scotland 4 (Evans 12, J.Ross 28,30,70)
There was a bittersweet taste to Scotland's 4-2 win over Australia as Anna Signeul's side missed out on a Cyprus Women's Cup Final against England. 
 
A Lisa Evans goal followed by a hat-trick from Jane Ross appeared to be enough - but as the players left the pitch word filtered through that France had scored with the last kick of the ball against Holland in Nicosia. That gave the French a 3-0 victory and allowed them to pip Scotland on goal difference after both sides finished with seven points in Group B.
 
The Scots will now play South Korea on Wednesday to decide who finishes third and fourth in the tournament.
 
"Of course for the players it would have been prestigious to play in the final against England," said Signeul. "But personally I'm not disappointed because we have won two and drawn one of our group games against much higher ranked opponents.
 
"This tournament is about preparing for the World Cup qualifiers, and our games against Sweden especially. South Korea have a different style of play from the other teams so that is a positive.
 
"Once again the team put in an outstanding performance today."
 
As expected Ifeoma Dieke came back into the side alongside Jennifer Beattie in central defence with Rachel Corsie moving up to midfield. Jo Love and Nicola Docherty dropped onto the bench, with Emma Mitchell the other player coming in.
 
Scotland couldn't have made a brighter start with Australian goalkeeper Brianna Davey having to make five saves in the opening ten minutes, the best from a long range Corsie shot. It was clear that the Australian defence were going to struggle with the electric movement of Lisa Evans and the shrewd passing of Jane Ross and Kim Little.
 
Evans deservedly put Scotland ahead after 12 minutes, taking advantage of a through ball from Hayley Lauder to slip the ball past Davey. It was Evans' fourth goal in three games and kept up the Scots record of scoring first in every game in Cyprus.
 
Australia's efforts to get a foothold were fatally undermined when Jane Ross scored two goals in two minutes just before the half hour. The Vittsjo striker took advantage of a bad mistake by central defender Emma Checker to run through on Davey and slip the ball past the keeper.
 
Two minutes later, Evans had a shot saved but Ross was perfectly placed to fire the rebound home.
 
So dominant was Scotland's first half performance that Australia's only real chance fell in the 41st minute when central defender Kim Carroll headed over from a free kick.
 
The Aussies, who had already made a substitution after the third goal, brought on two more at the start of the second half but it was Scotland who nearly increased their advantage. Yet again Evans' speed got her behind the defence, but this time she sent her shot wide. Two minutes later there was a similar outcome when Mitchell fired in a volley.
 
Midway through the half Australia pulled one back with a highly contentious score. Michelle Hayman continued her run despite the far side official flagging for offside - and as the Scotland defence hesitated the substitute scored from a tight angle. Experienced Swedish referee Jenny Palmqvist allowed the goal to stand amid Scottish protests.
 
Scotland restored the three goal advantage after 70 minutes when Jane Ross took advantage of Jo Love's assist to bag her hat-trick.
 
Four minutes later Hayman scored her second. This time she accepted a pass from Kathryn Gill and sent a crisp 20 yard shot past Fay.
 
The best opportunity in the final 15 minutes fell to the Scots. Yet more good work by Evans and Jane Ross saw Love just fail to connect for what would have been a certain fifth goal.
 
Scotland: Gemma Fay, Frankie Brown, Hayley Lauder (sub Nicola Docherty 72mins), Ifeoma Dieke, Jennifer Beattie, Rachel Corsie (sub Megan Sneddon 59mins), Leanne Ross (sub Joanne Love 62mins), Kim Little, Jane Ross, Emma Mitchell (sub Joelle Murray 90mins), Lisa Evans.

(Report by www.scottishfa.co.uk) 
 

 
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