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Scotland 0 Norway 5 (Clausen 10, Naalsund 14, Synne Hansen 34, Markussen 72, Jensen 89)
Scotland's hopes of reaching the semi finals of the UEFA Women's Under-19 Championships were dashed by a blistering performance from host nation Norway.
First half goals from Marit Clausen, Lisa Naalsund and Synnes Hansen blew Gareth Evans' away under the scorching heat in Sarpsborg. Scotland pushed forward in the second half to try and get the goals they needed to qualify, but second half strikes from Marie Markussen and Synne Jansen extinguished Scotland's European dream.
The result means that Norway join Holland in the semi finals from Group A, with the Dutch topping the group after defeating Belgium 2-0 in the night's other fixture.
Gareth Evans made one change from Friday's 3-2 defeat to the Netherlands in Jessheim. Georgie Rafferty, who came on for the second half against the Dutch, started alongside Rachel O'Neill at centre half. Scotland were hoping to match better than they had on Friday but, unfortunately, the opening 20 minutes felt like déjà vu as the team found themselves two goals down.
A contentious corner for Norway after ten minutes was not properly cleared by the Scotland defence. The ball reached Synne Hansen at the back post and the Roa player's cross met the head of Marit Clausen who scored from close range to give the Norwegians an early lead.
Five minutes later, Norway doubled their lead. A goalmouth scramble in the Scotland penalty box was not dealt with properly, and in amongst all the bodies Lisa Naaslund found a fraction of space to poke the ball past Megan Cunningham.
Under the baking hot sun, Scotland tried to play their expansive attacking football. On the left wing Lizzie Arnot was consistently giving Norway's right back Cecilie Kvamme troubles, whilst the hold up play of Zoe Ness up front created chances for Caroline Weir and Chloe Arthur.
What was already a difficult challenge for Gareth Evans' side became even tougher ten minutes before the interval when Synne Hansen found space in the box to treble the advantage for Norway.
Early in the second half, Scotland nearly found a way back into the game. A run down the left wing by Weir ended with a low cross into the Norwegian box. A slip from centre half Clausen created an opportunity for Ness to turn and hammer the ball off the underside of the woodwork from 12 yards out.
Had that effort gone in, it was quite possible that Scotland could have gone on to recover in a similar fashion to as they did against the Netherlands on Friday. Like against the Dutch, Scotland found themselves 3-0 down at half time, but without an early goal in the second half on an extremely warm evening in Sarpsborg, the side struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities against a well drilled Norwegian back line.
The inclusion of Carolina Richardson for midfielder Chloe Arthur was a sign of intent by Evans in the closing stages to trigger a comeback for Scotland. Any hopes of second half comeback were dashed with 18 minutes to go by Norwegian substitute Marie Markussen, who darted in on Cunningham's goal from the right wing and, despite the Hamilton Accies keeper saving the first attempt, the Norwegian winger slotted in the rebound to the joy of most of the 823 spectators.
In the closing stages, Norway made it five. Synne Jensen found herself in room from 25 yards out, and her audacious effort rocketed off the post to finish off a superb evening for the host nation.
Despite the defeat, Scotland bow out of this year's UEFA Women's Under-19 Championships with their heads held high. They recorded their best ever place at a major finals by finishing third in Group A, as well as achieving the first ever victory by a Scotland women's team at a major finals.
Scotland: Megan Cunningham, Chloe Arthur (sub Carolina Richardson 71mins), Fiona Brown, Lucy Graham, Rachael O'Neill, Lizzie Arnot, Claire Williamson, Caroline Weir, Zoe Ness, Georgie Rafferty, Abbi Grant (sub Abigail Harrison 62mins). Subs not used: Jenna Fife, Hannah Stewart, Katey Turner, Rachel Halliday, Emily McKerlie.
Norway: Cecilie Fiskerstrand, Cecilie Kvamme, Marit Clausen, Ane Walsoe, Andrine Tomter, Lisa Naalsund, Vilde Boe Risa, Synne Hansen (sub Karina Saevik 66mins), Sigrid Hansen (sub Inger Katrine Bjerke 45mins), Synne Jensen, Camilla Ose (sub Marie Markussen 70mins). Subs not used: Aurora Mikalsen, Tuva Hansen, Sara Johansen.
(Report by www.scottishfa.co.uk)
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