Aberdeen’s Rachel Corsie said Scotland women’s tight 1-0 defeat to world champions the USA was a “step forward”.
Shelley Kerr’s Dark Blues fell by a single goal to the Americans as they started preparations for France 2019 – Scotland’s first appearance at the pinnacle of the women’s game.
The Scots restricted the visitors to a handful of chances at Paisley’s Simply Digital Arena with the winner, courtesy of Alex Morgan – one of the game’s biggest and best-paid talents – the product of a lapse in concentration.
Proud skipper Corsie said: “We’re certainly pleased with the performance, which is what we set out to do.
“Of course we’re not pleased to get beat, but there are plenty of positives from that.
“With five minutes to go, the world champions are trying to run time out in the corner.
“I think that’s a credit to our work.
“The tactics went to plan and I think it’s a step forward for us, playing against a team of this calibre.”
Towards the end of the match, Scotland – who qualified for next summer’s World Cup with a dramatic win over Albania – were pushing the USA with the visitors just trying to keep the ball and hold on.
Corsie said: “Bar one save from (Scots substitute goalkeeper) Shannon (Lynn), I don’t think they’ve had too many clear-cut chances.
“With the quality they have, that’s really pleasing. It’s not just the back line, we worked from front to back so hard for one another.
“We done exactly what we were told to do and, like I said, the performance was the biggest positive.”
Kerr’s team started sharply, Claire Emslie seeing an effort from a Caroline Weir cross cleared at the back post.
Morgan’s first foray into the home box came after 15 minutes, but she tried to tee up Mallory Pugh when a shot was the better option.
There’s no denying the US players were seeing more of the ball, but the Scots were mostly comfortable without possession, while composed and creative with it.
On half an hour an Erin Cuthbert corner was snatched off the line, before Jane Ross volleyed over.
The USA goal would have frustrated Scotland, given their foothold in the game.
Pugh wasn’t closed down out right and Morgan – amazingly given her near 100-goal international record – was left with a simple side-foot volley into Lee Alexander’s top-right corner.
The second half had a similar all-action start.
Weir with a Maradona turn before getting a decent shot away for Scotland, before Lynn’s one-hand save to prevent Julie Ertz scoring with a low, and deflected, 20-yard drive.
On 61 minutes, Pugh was clipped by Kirsty Smith inside the area and Carli Lloyd – another blockbuster name with more than 100 international goals – looked certain to double the visitors’ lead but hit the bar.
With this reprieve, Kerr’s side stepped things up in their hunt for an equaliser.
It wasn’t quite to be, with the closest moment sub Lana Clelland’s half-volley with 10 minutes to go, which Ashlyn Harris stopped well.