Women's World Cup Qualifying
Albania Women1Scotland Women2

Scotland Women qualify for World Cup with 2-1 win against Albania

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Watch: Scotland Women celebrate World Cup qualification in Albania

A jubilant Scotland celebrated wildly as they clinched their first place at a Women's World Cup finals with a dramatic victory over Albania.

Knowing they had to better the result of Group 2 leaders Switzerland to qualify automatically, Scotland's nerves were shredded as Shelley Kerr's side clung to a 2-1 lead while the Swiss pushed for a winning goal against Poland.

When the match ended goalless in Poland, Kerr's side had just seconds to hold on before the referee's whistle signalled an outpouring of emotion on the pitch.

Kim Little put Scotland ahead early on before Megi Doci levelled just before half-time.

Jane Ross' header then put the Scots back ahead, triggering a nerve-wracking 22 minutes for the visitors who held on to their lead.

The chance Scotland thought they wouldn't get

Scotland faced Switzerland in Paisley on Thursday knowing a two-goal winning margin would put their destiny in their own hands.

After a tense 2-1 win, there was a sense of deflation as attempting to secure a play-off place then became a more realistic target.

Their mission was clear going into this encounter. With that play-off place a likelihood, they could afford to go all-out in attack and make sure they ended their campaign on a high.

If all went their way in Albania and Poland, the Scots would be celebrating a place at their first World Cup.

It surely could not be as simple as that - not for a country whose hopes have been dashed so often.

It remained goalless in Poland and the Scots bullied the tiring Albanians as those in attendance watched the clock and the score elsewhere.

As the final whistle came and the sun dipped low behind the Loro Borici stadium, there was disbelief.

Scotland had done it.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon celebrated the victory

Early goal set the tone

As predicted, Albania set out to close Scotland's game down on what was a rough surface in Shkoder.

The opening goal visibly settled them though. A cross from Lisa Evans found a composed Lizzie Arnot who neatly delivered the ball into the box where Erin Cuthbert was waiting, but it was Little who seized the moment and rifled it home.

From there the Albanian debutant goalkeeper Viona Rexhepi did well to block further attempts from the creative Cuthbert and Ross for the Scots, and Manchester United forward Arnot made herself a particular nuisance for the defence.

Lee Alexander was rarely tested in the Scotland goal and perhaps that is why Kerr's side were caught off-guard when a momentary lack of concentration allowed the hosts to level through Doci.

After a scrappy restart the Scots regained some of their earlier composure as an Emma Mitchell shot smacked off the inside of the post as they began to ramp up their attacks.

Their persistence eventually paid off in the 68th minute when a free-kick found the head of Ross to put Scotland ahead once more.

A third looked possible but instead the visitors opted to keep possession and see the game out.

'The players respond so well to Shelley'

Analysis from former Scotland striker Julie Fleeting

It's absolutely huge. To make history, these players taking us to a World Cup finals after such an incredible campaign is wonderful for the national side and girls' and women's football in general.

Shelley had taken over a fantastic squad of players from predecessor Anna Signeul. She's put her own stamp on the squad, changed the style of play and introduced some young, exciting players.

The players respond so well to her coaching and you can see everything she asks of them, they manage to perform on the field.

Group 2 table

Line-ups

Albania Women

  • 1Rexhepi
  • 16Gjini
  • 8Elezaj
  • 4Rrahmani
  • 5Bajraktari
  • 18Franja
  • 7HamidiSubstituted forMaliqiat 73'minutes
  • 9Morina
  • 10KrasniqiSubstituted forHaziriat 90+2'minutes
  • 11DociSubstituted forLevendiat 90+1'minutes
  • 17Maksuti

Substitutes

  • 2Haziri
  • 3Curraj
  • 6Maliqi
  • 12Raxhimi
  • 13Levendi
  • 14Lulaj
  • 19Mustafaj

Scotland Women

  • 1Alexander
  • 8Little
  • 5Beattie
  • 4Corsie
  • 3Mitchell
  • 15HowardSubstituted forArthurat 45'minutes
  • 11Evans
  • 9Weir
  • 13Ross
  • 23ArnotSubstituted forEmslieat 66'minutes
  • 22Cuthbert

Substitutes

  • 6Love
  • 12Lynn
  • 14Arthur
  • 16Murray
  • 18Emslie
  • 19Clelland
  • 20Brown
Referee:
Barbara Poxhofer
Attendance:
700

Match Stats

Home TeamAlbania WomenAway TeamScotland Women
Possession
Home33%
Away67%
Shots
Home1
Away2
Shots on Target
Home1
Away2
Corners
Home0
Away0
Fouls
Home0
Away0

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Tuesday 4th September 2018

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England Women87102912822
2Wales Women852173417
3Russia Women84131613313
4Bos-Herze Wom8107319-163
5Kazakhstan Women8107221-193

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Scotland Women87011971221
2Switzerland Women86112151619
3Poland Women83231612411
4Albania Women8116622-164
5Belarus Women8107521-163

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norway Women87012241821
2Netherlands Women86112222019
3R. of Ireland Wom8413106413
4Slovakia Women8107423-193
5N Ireland Wom8107427-233

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sweden Women87012222021
2Denmark Women85122281416
3Ukraine Women8413910-113
4Hungary Women8116826-184
5Croatia Women8035520-153

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany Women87013833521
2Iceland Women85212261617
3Czech Rep Wom84222081214
4Slovenia Women8206920-116
5Faroe Islands Women8008153-520

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Italy Women87011941521
2Belgium Women86112862219
3Portugal Women83232281411
4Romania Women8125715-85
5Moldova Women8017245-431

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain Women88002522324
2Austria Women85121971216
3Finland Women8314913-410
4Serbia Women8215513-87
5Israel Women8017023-231
View full Women's World Cup Qualifying tables

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