Women's European Championship Qualifying - Group E

Scotland women 0-2 Portugal women: Scots end group campaign with defeat

By Nick McPheatBBC Scotland
Sam Kerr in action against Portugal
Sam Kerr made her first start for Scotland

Scotland "battered Portugal 0-2" said interim head coach Stuart McLaren as they concluded their European Championship qualifying campaign with a disappointing defeat in Larnaca.

It was Scotland's fourth defeat in five games as they missed several chances.

Ana Capeta scored after a goalkeeper error from Jenna Fife, and Fatima Pinto doubled the advantage late on.

"They've played well without being effective in the most important part of game, scoring goals," said McLaren.

"The performance reflects what the team is capable of; they're a threat against anyone at this kind of level, but they have to have conviction to finish off that good play."

Scotland finish third in Group E, with Finland qualifying for the finals in England as group winners and Portugal reaching the play-offs.

The defeat in Cyprus, where the game was being played due to the current Covid-19 travel restrictions, rounds off a deflating group campaign for Scotland, who will not feature in the delayed finals next summer.

McLaren's side started with zip and energy that would have been fuelled by Friday's 10-0 win over Cyprus, as their eagerness to move the ball with pace and purpose resulted in Claire Emslie flashing in a low cross for Erin Cuthbert who skied over.

Chelsea midfielder Cuthbert again fashioned an opportunity for herself, this time receiving a pass from Caroline Weir before gaining a yard and lashing a shot wide.

The Scots continued to press, as yet another sweeping move ended again with a dangerous cross from Emslie who found Martha Thomas, but the West Ham forward's hooked attempt towards goal forced a smart save from Patricia Morais.

Portugal's keeper was called into action again just moments later to parry over Cuthbert's drilled effort, but McLaren's side would be made to pay for failing to take advantage of their dominance in calamitous fashion.

Fife took a heavy touch from a Rachel Corise pass back, allowing Capeta to slide in and block the Scotland keeper's attempted clearance into the net.

The Scots responded well, as Weir tried her luck from distance before Thomas failed to divert a near-post flick on target just before the break.

Scotland continued to dominate possession in the second period, but - unlike the first half - chances were few and far between as Portugal defended admirably before doubling their advantage as Fatima Pinto hammered home in injury time to consign interim boss McLaren to a first defeat.

Scotland players 'devastated' - interim boss Stuart McLaren

Scotland interim head coach Stuart McLaren: "One of the key points was to dominate possession but have a purpose to it, and I think the players did that very well. Unfortunately, and it's maybe reflective of the campaign, we just didn't have that finishing product often enough in the final third.

"We all know how important the first goal is in a game of football. We didn't get it and we were obviously culpable in a sense. It's a good press from Portugal but we invited that press. The second one is purely trying to keep as many bodies up the pitch as we possibly can.

"Disappointed in the result but really, really pleased with the performance in terms of the application of the aspects of football that we asked the girls to go and apply.

"Nothing has changed from my perspective. I was asked by the association to take on the interim role. I've done that now for the two games so unless anything changes then I'll go back to my role as the U16 national team coach on the men's side. If something changes within that, I'll deal with that as it comes.

"There's obviously a process in place from the hierarchy to make sure that we get the very best candidate to be the new head coach of the Scottish women's national team and whoever that will be will be (revealed) in the course of time."

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Tuesday 23rd February 2021

  • ScotlandScotland0PortugalPortugal2
  • Azerbaijan WomenAzerbaijan Women1Moldova WomenMoldova Women0
  • Croatia WomenCroatia Women0Romania WomenRomania Women1
  • Estonia WomenEstonia Women0Slovenia WomenSlovenia Women9
  • Cyprus WomenCyprus Women0Finland WomenFinland Women5
  • SpainSpain3Poland WomenPoland Women0

As It Stood


3Slovenia Women1060431121918
4Kosovo Women10316629-2310
5Turkey Women10127928-195
6Estonia Women10019140-391


3Bos-Herze Wom106041917218
4Malta Women103161130-1910
5Israel Women92161018-87
6Georgia Women100010345-420


2N Ireland Wom84221717014
4Belarus Women72051115-46
5Faroe Islands Women7007142-410


2Czech Rep Wom85122491516
3Poland Women84221651114
4Moldova Women8107343-403
5Azerbaijan Women8107235-333


1Finland Women87102422222
4Albania Women8206721-146
5Cyprus Women8008037-370


3Slovakia Women8314719-1210
4Hungary Women82151120-97
5Latvia Women8008239-370


3Serbia Women84042112912
4North Macedonia Women8206839-316
5Kazakhstan Women8008243-410


3Romania Women84041316-312
4Croatia Women8215719-127
5Lithuania Women8008132-310


2Ukraine Women85031621-515
3R. of Ireland Wom84131110113
4Greece Women8215621-157
5Montenegro Women8008228-260
View full Women's European Championship Qualifying tables

Top Stories