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Women's Football News
Scotland 1 (Little pen 19) Sweden 3 (Seger 13, Asllani 27,52)
Scotland's hopes of automatic qualification for next year's FIFA Women's World Cup were dented as they dropped their first points of the campaign at Fir Park.
Kim Little's penalty on 19 minutes cancelled out Caroline Seger's opener, but a brace from Kosovare Asllani was enough to seal the three points for the visitors.
Scotland remain top of Group Four on goal difference, although Sweden have a game in hand. The two sides will meet again in Gothenburg in September's final round of matches, in what could be the group decider.
Scotland started confidently and played some entertaining attacking football, but it was Sweden who opened the scoring. A corner from the right hand side was missed by everyone in the box and fell to Seger. She showed great composure to chip the ball goalwards and her effort ended up out of the reach of Scotland goalkeeper and captain Gemma Fay and into the back of net.
Scotland responded positively and they got their reward only six minutes later. Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl conceded a free kick after handling the ball outside of the box. Little took the free kick and her shot was adjudged to have been handled by Lotta Schelin in the wall.
Little stepped up again, this time from 12 yards, and she confidently slotted the ball into the bottom right hand corner for her 33rd international goal.
However, the joy was short lived as the world number five side regained their lead on 26 minutes thanks to another corner. Seger again picked up the loose ball at the back post and laid it off to Hanna Folkesson. Her shot looked to be an easy save for Fay, but Paris St Germain striker Kosovare Asllani managed to get a touch onto the ball and deflect it past the Celtic keeper to make it 2-1.
Five minutes from half time, and on the break, Asllani received the ball 25 yards from goal. Thankfully for Scotland her shot came skidding off the right hand post and was cleared from danger.
Scotland thought they had equalised for a second time when Jane Ross netted, but the flag was up for offside.
Sweden increased their lead just seven minutes in to the second half. A cross from the left was fumbled by Fay allowing Asllani to pounce on the loose ball. The forward was cool enough to slot the ball home for her second of the game despite pressure from the scrambling defence. It was a cruel blow for Anna Signeul's side, who had started the half well.
Scotland battled on but it wasn't until the 70th minute before they really pressured the Swedish goal. A Scottish counter attack saw Lisa Evans up against two defenders and the forward was upended on the edge of the box after some good close control. Hayley Lauder stepped up to take the free kick and only the bar denied her well struck shot. Scotland came close again when Little forced a fine save from Lindahl.
The visitors continued to push forward themselves and with 75 minutes played, Schelin held the ball up well before snapping a shot across goal. Fay had the post again to thank for denying the Swedes their fourth. Fay then pulled off a fine double save to deny Schelin again in added time.
Despite their efforts, Scotland could not find a way back against a side who hadn't conceded in the group until today's match. Scotland's winning streak in Group Four has come to an end, but the team will be looking to bounce back against Northern Ireland in Belfast on Thursday.
Scotland: Gemma Fay, Hayley Lauder, Frankie Brown, Ifeoma Dieke, Rachel Corsie, Joanne Love (sub Christie Murray 80mins), Jennifer Beattie, Kim Little, Megan Sneddon (sub Emma Mitchell 45mins), Lisa Evans, Jane Ross. Subs not used: Shannon Lynn, Emma Black, Leanne Ross, Nicola Docherty, Suzanne Lappin.
Sweden: Hedvig Lindahl, Emma Berglund, Elin Rubensson, Caroline Seger, Nilla Fischer, Sara Thunebro, Therese Sjogran (sub Emilia Appelgvist 88mins), Lotta Schelin, Kosovare Asallani, Sofia Jakobsson (sub Malin Diaz 45mins), Hanna Folkesson. Subs not used: Carola Söberg, Linda Sembrant, Amanda Ilestedt, Annica Svensson, Emma Lund.
(Report by www.scottishfa.co.uk)
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