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Scotland fightback not quite enough
 Women's Football News 19 Jul 2014
 
Holland 3 (Miedema 9,24, O'Neill og 19) Scotland 2 (Janssen og 65, Richardson 70)
A defiant second half performance from Scotland was not enough to rescue a point against the Netherlands in the UEFA Under-19 Championships. 
 
A first half finishing masterclass from Bayern Munich's Vivienne Miedema and an unfortunate own goal stunned Gareth Evans' side in Norway as the Dutch raced into a three-goal lead after just 25 minutes. An own goal in Scotland's favour and a calm finish from substitute Carolina Richardson in the second half had given the Scots hope of a miraculous fightback, but an equalising third goal proved to be elusive.
 
Scotland now go into Monday's final Group A match against host nation Norway knowing they must win to reach the semi finals of the competition.
 
Gareth Evans named the same starting eleven that defeated Belgium on Tuesday. Much like the match in StrÝmmen, the Scottish defence found themselves under pressure from a high press. Within the first 60 seconds, Megan Cunningham was forced into a fine save from a Dominique Janssen free kick.
 
Ten minutes later, Scotland fell behind for the first time at the Finals. The Scottish defence failed to clear from a set piece, and unfortunately for Evans' side the ball landed at the feet of Vivienne Miedema. The Bayern Munich star, who missed Tuesday's draw with Norway, latched on to the ball and dispatched the ball clinically past Cunningham to give the Dutch the lead.
 
Scotland tried to regain their composure after the early set-back, but two goals in quick succession midway through the first half left Scotland with a mammoth task going into the interval. A spot of misfortune struck the Scottish defence after 20 minutes when a Megan Cunningham save crashed off Rachel O'Neill. Despite Fiona Brown's best attempt to prevent the ball going in, she could not stop the own goal.
 
Five minutes later, the Dutch trebled their lead. Some clever play on the right wing by Heerenveen's Simone Kets led to the ball finding Miedema. A delightful pirouette gave the striker room in a crowded penalty area, which she duly took advantage of to finish past Cunningham.
 
For the second half Scotland made two changes, with Georgie Rafferty replacing Emily McKerlie in the centre of defence and Caroline Richardson coming on for Zoe Ness.
 
The change in personnel brought about a change in fortune for the Scots, twenty minutes into the second half. A menacing run from Lizzie Arnot on the left wing led to a dangerous cross from the Hibernian player which was deflected into the Dutch goal by Janssen to cut the deficit by two.

The slice of fortune was equilibrium of sorts, cancelling out Brown's own goal from the first half. Yet the goal also re-energised Scottish hope. The Dutch side, calm and controlled in the first half, showed signs of frustration.
 
Scotland capitalised on this five minutes later thanks to substitute Richardson. A scuffed effort by Lucy Graham on the edge of the penalty box landed at the Celtic striker's feet and she slotted the ball into the bottom corner, leaving Jennifer Vreugdenhill with no chance.
 
For the final twenty minutes Scotland pushed as hard as they could to get an incredible equaliser. Unfortunately, no clear chances were made in the latter stages, with Holland holding out for all three points.
 
Scotland now face Norway on Monday knowing that they must defeat the hosts in Sarpsborg. After two rounds of fixtures, Holland and Norway both have four points, Scotland have three and Belgium are bottom of Group A without a point to their name. 
 
Holland: Jennifer Vreugdenhil, Simone Kets (sub Lineth Beerensteyn 59mins), Dominique Janssen, Danique Kerkdijk (sub Lucie Akkerman 79mins), Danielle Kuikstra, Kim Mourmans, Jeslynn Kuijpers, Inessa Kaagman, Vivianne Miedema (sub Laura Strik 45mins), Jill Roord, Lauren Delleman. Subs not used: Nienke Olthof, Cornelia Peels, Sharon Bruinenberg, Sippie Folkertsma.

Scotland: Megan Cunningham, Chloe Arthur, Fiona Brown, Lucy Graham, Rachel O'Neill, Lizzie Arnot, Claire Williamson, Caroline Weir, Zoe Ness (sub Carolina Richardson 45mins), Emily McKerlie (sub Georgie Rafferty 45mins), Abbi Grant (sub Katey Turner 87mins). Subs not used: Jenna Fife, Hannah Stewart, Rachel Halliday, Abigail Harrison.

(Report by www.scottishfa.co.uk)


 
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