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Northern Ireland 0 Scotland 4 (J.Ross 25,61, Weir 27,48)
at Solitude, Belfast
Scotland started 2015 in style with a convincing 4-0 victory away to Northern Ireland in Belfast.
Caroline Weir and Jane Ross both bagged two goals each at a sunny Solitude on an afternoon in which Anna Signeul handed international debuts to Megan Cunningham, Fiona Brown and Chloe Arthur. The three debutants impressed Signeul on a day in which Scotland experimented with new players and formations.
Speaking to the Scottish FA website, Anna said: "All three were a bit nervous at the beginning which is understandable, but once they were on the ball they were absolutely fine.
"Fiona started the match and provided a lot of good initiative and did not show any fear. All three of the debutants handled the situation very well and added something positive to the team."
"It was a new formation for us with a few new players. We are looking at bringing in younger players to the squad to increase the competition for starting positions."
Scotland narrowly missed out on a place at this summer's FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada, losing to the Netherlands in the play-offs. 2015 is now a year which allows Signeul the opportunity to adopt new formations and introduce new players to the squad.
She said: "It is the sort of thing that is difficult to introduce during a campaign, but we have a great opportunity now to prepare for the European Championship qualifying that begins in September. The opportunity we have right now is one that we have to take.
"So far, we've had a good start to the year. We had a really good training camp two weeks ago and we've trained really hard the days we've been in Northern Ireland, which might explain why we tired a bit the second half.
"With the players we have and the players coming up we have the ability now to apply higher demands on them, such as the new formation."
Scotland were convincing at Solitude, returning to the ground where they defeated Northern Ireland 2-0 in a FIFA Women's World Cup qualifier in June. It was an impressive display from the side, and one which Signeul takes plenty of positives from.
"It was a different game to the match we played in June," she said. "The time of the season affects the match, but it's the same for both teams."
"I think we should focus on how well we did today. It is always hard to score goals in Northern Ireland. They are compact in defence and they work hard. I think it was a better performance from us today (than the match in June). We showed patience and we created chances."
(Report by www.scottishfa.co.uk)
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