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Scotland produced a display of total dominance against Montenegro to seal their place in the Elite round of the UEFA European Women's Under-17 championship.
The young Scots were unplayable at points during the victory and could have scored more if not for the efforts of Montenegro goalkeeper Svetlana Milicic. The score line at risk of misrepresenting the goalkeeper who made several impressive saves to keep the score down.
Pauline MacDonald's side had put four goals past Northern Ireland in the first half on Monday and started this match with a similar intensity, their first chance falling to Rebecca McAllister. Impressive build up play on the left presented a chance for McAllister who was picked out at the edge of the area but couldn't keep her effort down. Chances followed soon after for Rosie McQuillan who fired a free kick over the bar before forcing a save from ‘keeper Milicic.
The opener would come from McQuillan who had been heavily involved in the early stages. Eva Thomson showed excellent vision to find her teammate and McQuillan cut in from the right to fire a shot into the roof of the net from just outside the penalty area.
Scotland looked relentless and their pressure only increased after the first goal. Kate Nicolson dictated play well from the base of the midfield and both full backs sat high to link up with the wide duo of Monica Forsyth and Bayley Hutchinson. Both wingers looked especially dangerous every time they picked up the ball.
McQuillan turned provider for Scotland's second, setting up Hutchinson to fire home at the back post. A chance made by the two forward players' finesse and control in the close compounds of a packed penalty box. Moments before Montenegro ‘keeper Milicic had made two impressive stops from close range in quick succession but could do nothing to prevent Hutchinson making it 2-0.
The exact same combination created Scotland's third which was scored ten minutes before the break. McQuillan again cut onto her favoured left foot and saw her deflected shot cleared off the line, only as far as Hutchinson who notched her second of the game. Angling a perfectly hit shot into the top corner from close range.
The second half began in a similar vein. Eve Thomson should have converted after she had a free effort at goal from 18 yards but hit the ball just over. Then, the imposing Nicolson went close, thumping a free kick from a similar range against the crossbar.
Just moments later the Young Scots would get another to make it 4-0. The ball broke from a corner to the right-hand side of the box and McQuillan curled a beautiful looping effort over the head of Milicic. Scotland's number nine getting a deserved second for her efforts.
Lucy Sinclair and Kirsty O'Brien both came on as Macdonald switched up her team in the second half and looked lively. Sinclair benefited from O'Brien's pacey run down the left immediately after they entered the field and was unfortunate to see a strong goal bound shot saved.
The final stages of the match were played out in the Montenegro half, but Scotland could not add to their goal tally. Neve Guthrie came closest to making it five but her effort from 12 yards went narrowly wide. Forsyth also came close on a number of occasions, the Montenegro defence struggled throughout to deal with her direct runs.
The result means the Young Scots are guaranteed progression to the next round ahead of their final qualifier against Italy on Sunday, the winner of that tie will advance as group winners to the Elite round.
Scotland: Alicia Yates (sub Rachael Johnstone 60mins), Freya MacDonald, (sub Addie Handley 68mins), Tegan Bowie, Robyn McCafferty, Kate Nicolson, Monica Forsyth, Rebecca McAllister (sub Neve Guthrie 74mins), Rosie McQuillan (sub Lucy Sinclair 60mins), Bayley Hutchison, Paige McAllister, Eva Thomson (sub Kirsty O'Brien 60mins). Subs not used: Jessica Broadrick, Jenna Penman, Ellie-Jai Reid, Eilidh Adams.
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