Scotland’s women reach France 2019 World Cup

Scotland beat their Swiss rivals last week.
Scotland beat their Swiss rivals last week.

Scotland’s women have qualified for the World Cup in France next year.

Shelley Kerr’s team bettered the result of rivals Switzerland – a side they defeated last week – who drew 0-0 in Poland. The Scots beat Albania 2-1 away from home.

The three points pushed the Dark Blues two points ahead of the Swiss in the table with 21 points and sealed their place among the global elite next summer. It’ll be their first World Cup and means they’ll be at their second major tournament in a row.

The Scots were on the front foot from the off, despite finding it difficult to pass on the dreadful surface.

It took just nine minutes for them to open the scoring.

With the Scots working the ball into the Albanian box time and again, Lizzie Arnot eventually nodded a cross down at the back post for Mintlaw’s Kim Little to lash a right-footed volley home from 12 yards.

Scotland were in control, but couldn’t extend their lead.

There was a sickener of a lesson in taking your chances on 44 minutes, when Albania’s Megi Doci latched on to a ball in the Scotland box and finished low and left beyond Lee Alexander.

At half-time, both the Scots and Swiss were drawing their games.

After the break, Scotland were back to banging on the door, this time trying to get back in front.

On 68 minutes, Jane Ross powered a close-range header from a free-kick past keeper Viona Rexhepi, who was moving the other way, to put the visitors back in front.

And with Switzerland unable to score, and Scotland never at risk of losing their restored lead as they ran down the clock, it was mission accomplished.