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Bosnia-Herzegovina 1 (M.Kulis 18) Scotland 3 (J.Ross 62,74,86)
Scotland made it six wins out of six in the FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying campaign with a hard fought victory against a dogged Bosnia side.
A second half Jane Ross hat-trick sealed the win for Scotland after Monika Kulis gave Bosnia the lead with a wonderful long-range effort. Kim Little, Lisa Evans and Ross combined to create all three goals, with the Vittsjo GIK striker taking her tally for the campaign to nine, including two hat-tricks.
Despite notching up a 7-0 win over Bosnia in the opening match of the campaign, Scotland were expecting the home side to be difficult to break down, after they held group favourites Sweden to a narrow 1-0 win at the same stadium in October. Bosnia spent much of the game with eleven players behind the ball and Scotland's task was made even tougher when Kulis opened the scoring against the run of play midway through the first half.
Scotland enjoyed all of the early possession, but struggled to find their rhythm as Bosnia defended in numbers. The first real opportunity came after 16 minutes when Hayley Lauder managed to find some space to run at goal, but her effort was held by Envera Hasanbegovic.
Bosnia were springing some dangerous counter attacks and took the lead just two minutes later after winning a free kick on the right wing. Kulis picked up the ball and unleashed a powerful effort in to the top corner that left Scotland goalkeeper Gemma Fay with no chance.
Scotland thought they were back on level terms almost instantly when Leanne Crichton bundled the ball in to the net after a melee in the penalty box, but the flag was up for offside. Jane Ross had a penalty claim waved away when she collided with goalkeeper Hasanbegovic as she raced towards goal, before Kim Little sent a glancing header just wide as Scotland pressed for the equaliser.
But the home side were growing in confidence as the half went on, breaking forward at every opportunity, with the imposing Melisa Hasanbegovic powering her way down the pitch. Kulis again found herself with space to shoot, but this time her effort was well over.
Leanne Ross came closest to equalising as the half drew to a close, sending a header on to the roof of the net after connecting with a Little free kick.
Scotland piled on the pressure in the second half and for long periods, every player bar Scotland goalkeeper Fay was camped inside the Bosnia half. Hayley Lauder sent a low shot just wide, but again Bosnia surged forward and this time Radeljic was flagged offside.
The breakthrough finally came for Scotland with just over an hour gone. Evans' flick on from a Little effort was blocked by the goalkeeper and the ball fell to Ross on the edge of the box, who fired in a low shot.
Bosnia almost took the lead again when Lidija Kuliš raced down the left wing and squared for her namesake Monika, but her run was halted by a last ditch Nicola Docherty tackle on the edge of the area.
Jane Ross deflated the home side when she grabbed her second with fifteen minutes remaining. Little picked out Evans on the left wing and the Turbine Potsdam forward pinged the ball in to the box, where Ross connected with a low diving header.
She then wrapped up her hat-trick, again with the help of Little and Evans. Little picked up the ball in the middle of the park and again found Evans on the left wing. She sent an inch perfect ball into the box to the feet of Ross, who lifted the ball over the goalkeeper.
Scotland are now six points clear of Sweden, with two games in hand. The two sides will meet at Fir Park, Motherwell on Saturday 14 June.
Bosnia-Herzegovina: Envera Hasanbegovic, Amira Spahic, Milena Nikolic, Amela Fetahovic, Aida Hadzic (sub Eldina Ahmic 90mins), Lidija Kulis, Melisa Hasanbegovic (sub Dejana Boskan 90mins), Nikolina Dijakovic, Monika Kulis (sub Esmeralda Mujkic 77mins), Antonela Radeljic, Svjetlana Crnjak. Subs not used: Almina Hodzic, Alma Jasarevic, Alma Hadzic, Iris Kadric.
Scotland: Gemma Fay, Nicola Docherty (sub Joanne Love 83mins), Hayley Lauder, Leanne Ross (sub Christie Murray 72mins), Frankie Brown, Jennifer Beattie, Leanne Crichton, Kim Little, Megan Sneddon, Lisa Evans (sub Joelle Murray 87mins), Jane Ross. Subs not used: Shannon Lynn, Eilish McSorley, Siobhan Hunter, Heather Richards.
(Report by www.scottishfa.co.uk)
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