Scotland Frustrated By Late Spanish Equaliser

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Scotland was seconds away from securing an impressive victory over Spain at the Falkirk Stadium before the visitors equalised through Virginia Torrecilla. After the first half of few clear-cut chances, Scotland took the lead from slightly fortuitous circumstances, as Emma Mitchell’s cross deceived Spanish keeper Dolores Gallardo at the near post.

Spain had a series of chances to equalise, most noticeably through Alexis Putellas and Amanda Sampedro. But Scotland looked like they had weathered the storm, and should have doubled their lead late on when Jane Ross’ close-range effort was saved brilliantly by Gallardo.

But Spain secured an equaliser when Marta Corredera’s corner smashed off the post, and Torrecilla reacted quickest to fire the ball into the net.

Scotland’s next international is a UEFA Euro 2017 Qualifier against Slovenia at the Paisley 2021 Stadium on the 8th April 2016.

First Half

As is synonymous with Spanish football, the visitors dominated possession in the opening ten minutes, but the nearest they came to a chance was a Marta Torrejón shot which was more of a pass to Scotland keeper Gemma Fay, than a serious attempt on goal.

Scotland was pressing high up the pitch, and looking to play on the counter, and came close to an opening through Leanne Ross’ cross which was claimed by Spanish keeper Dolores Gallardo ahead of Scotland’s Kim Little.

But Spain was still controlling the match, and they came close in the 26th minute when Torrejón’s early cross picked out the unmarked Amanda Sampedro, but her flicked header just went over the crossbar. Minutes later, a defensive mix-up between Fay and Joelle Murray saw Alexia Putellas steal possession, but she fired her shot into the side-netting.

After surviving those opportunities, Scotland came close to scoring as Little broke through the middle and unselfishly played in Caroline Weir, but her shot was superbly blocked by Torrejón. Soon after, Scotland created their first shot on target when Emma Mitchell’s delightful through-ball picked out Jane Ross whose curled shot was caught by Gallardo.

Late on the first half, the visitors had two good chances to take the lead. Putellas broke to the byline, picked out Ruth García whose header had Fay scrambling to parry clear at the far post. And then, just before the half-time whistle, Leanne Ross gave away possession in a dangerous area, but luckily Jennifer Hermosa failed to take advantage, shooting wide from the edge of the box.

Half-Time: Scotland 0-0 Spain

Second Half

Early on in the second half, Scotland had a couple of set pieces which were just about dealt with by the Spanish defence, but in the 55th minute, they took the lead. Emma Mitchell’s delightful cross picked out Jane Ross in the box, but her shot was blocked by Leila Ouahabi. Scotland worked the ball back to Mitchell on the left-wing, and her whipped cross towards the near post looked like it had been dealt with by Gallardo, but the ball squirmed through her hands and into the net to the astonishment of everyone in the stadium.

Minutes later, Spain should have equalised after clever work from Sampedro and Hermoso set up the completely unmarked Putellas who from close range fired over. Hermoso once again created another great chance, this time playing Torrecilla into the penalty area, but she shot straight at Fay.

Scotland had a glorious chance after winning a free-kick on the edge of the Spanish box, but Little drilled her ball under the wall and into Gallardo’s arms.

Spain was now starting to ratchet up the pressure and in the 74th minute were only denied by Fay’s reactions. Vicky Losada’s free-kick was initially parried by Fay towards the waiting Putellas, but the keeper was quick to slide in and clear the danger. Minutes later, Corredera’s corner picked up Ruth García but she could not direct her header goalwards. And then Corredera stole possession from Mitchell, played a teasing ball across the six-yard box to Sampedro but, under strong pressure from Rachel Corsie, shot wide.

Despite the pressure from Spain, Scotland should have doubled their lead in the 82nd minute. Mitchell’s outstanding early cross picked out Jane Ross, six yards from goal, but her stabbed shot was brilliantly saved by Gallardo.

It looked like Scotland had survived the half, when in the third minute of added time, Spain equalised. Corredera’s corner hit the near post and it was Virginia Torreceillia who reacted quickest to score.

Despite winning a free-kick in a dangerous position, Scotland could not find a dramatic winner.

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