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Little makes big impact in Scotland win
 Women's Football News 12 Mar 2015
 
Kim Little was unstoppable as she tormented the Netherlands for 90 minutes and capped her performance with a hat-trick in Scotland's final Cyprus Cup match. 
 
The Seattle Reign midfielder, voted the best player in America last year, never stopped running on a stamina-sapping surface and led her side to a victory even more emphatic than the scoreline suggests.
 
"She was brilliant," a delighted Anna Signeul said. "Defensively she was fantastic and obviously attacking as well with the three goals. She has such a high work rate.
 
"Rachel Corsie was also really good, and Jennifer Beattie again but all over the pitch everybody pulled their weight today.
 
"We wanted to end this tournament on a high and we certainly did that."
 
Signeul again rotated with six changes from the side which beat the Republic of Korea 2-1. They included Shannon Lynn replacing Gemma Fay in goal and striker Christie Murray being rewarded with a start following her winner on Monday.
 
Heavy rain in Larnaca left the surface slippery, but there was no sign of it as Scotland dominated the opening ten minutes. Skipper Little was continuously on the ball as her side swarmed round the Dutch penalty area.
 
Shots from Little and Murray were just over the bar before the two combined to put the Scots ahead in the 16th minute. Murray collected an Emma Mitchell pass and flicked the ball into the path of Little. She scored in trademark fashion, rounding Dutch keeper Angela Christ and rolling the ball into the net.
 
At the other end Lynn wasn't called into action until midway through the half when she made a close range save from Eshly Bakker's header.
 
There was a lengthy hold up to the game when Leanne Crichton had to go off injured and was replaced by Jane Ross. With the game in injury time a Dominique Janssen free kick threaded past the Scottish defence but was turned round for a corner by Lynn.
 
Scotland went two up in the 54th minute and Little was again the scorer. A Ross cross from the right saw Caroline Weir challenge Christ and when the goalkeeper couldn't hold the ball it fell perfectly for Little, who slammed it into the net.
 
The Scots came very close to adding to their advantage twice as they continued to dominate the game. Beattie's powerful free kick from 35 yards beat Christ but went just wide of her left hand post. Then a lovely through ball from Ifeoma Dieke set Little up - but her pass to Beattie was intercepted.
 
Totally against the flow of a one-sided game, Netherlands pulled one back in the 70th minute when captain Anouk Hoogendijk headed home a Jill Roord free kick. Despite this encouragement the Netherlands continued to be second best and Kirsty Smith and Jane Ross came close to making it three.
 
That moment arrived on 92 minutes when Little was sent clear by Weir, again rounded Christ, and calmly scored her fifth goal of the tournament.
 
Scotland: Shannon Lynn, Frankie Brown (sub Chloe Arthur 55mins), Emma Mitchell (sub Kirsty Smith 52mins), Ifeoma Dieke (sub Fiona Brown 80mins), Jennifer Beattie, Joanne Love, Leanne Crichton (sub Jane Ross 36mins), Kim Little, Christie Murray, Rachel Corsie, Caroline Weir.

(Report by www.scottishfa.co.uk)


 
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