Scotland’s Under-19 squad have been playing their Elite Round Qualifiers in Portugal, as they tried to reach the 2016 UEFA Women’s Under-19 Championship. Unfortunately, they finished third in their group.
Elite Round Summary
Scotland 1-0 Greece
Scotland began their group against Greece and picked up a 1-0 win thanks to a goal from Forfar Farmington’s Amy Gallacher.
They created a chance early on but Carla Boyce had her shot saved by the Greek keeper Christina Margariti. The young Scots kept on pressing for a breakthrough and came close when Erin Cuthbert’s corner picked out Donna Paterson, but her effort missed the target.
Greece had a great chance to take the lead through Evangelia Panagiotidi, but her shot went wide.
But Scotland was on top and had a couple of great chances when Rachel McLauchlan hit the woodwork and then captain Abigail Harrison shot wide.
Early on in the second half, Scotland created a couple of great chances with both McLauchlan and Cuthbert failing to force the keeper into making a save.
Then Scotland took the lead in the 63rd minute when Erin Cuthbert passed to Amy Gallacher who beat the keeper with a great finish.
Scotland had chances to extend their lead through Harrison, Boyce and Gallacher but went on to record the victory.
Portugal 1-1 Scotland
Scotland drew their second game of the group as they drew 1-1 with Portugal.
Scotland had a good start and had a great chance in the 9th minute when Donna Paterson had her shot blocked. Soon after, Chantelle Brown had a couple of good chances: firstly forcing Tatiana Beleza into a save and then missed the target from an Erin Cuthbert corner.
But with Brown’s third chance in a row, she found the back of the net having been picked out by Amy Gallacher.
Scotland could have doubled their lead soon after when, from a Cuthbert corner, Georgie Rafferty and Gallacher had shots blocked.
Late on in the first half, Portugal created a couple of chances with Diana Gomes and Andreia Faria missed the target with their efforts.
In the opening minute of the second half, Andreia Faria forced Scotland’s keeper Rebecca Flaherty into a good save.
It took the hosts until the 61st minute for them to force Flaherty into another save, this time from Maria Constança. Four minutes later, Portugal equalised through Andreia Faria.
Neither side could find a winner in the final 25 minutes.
It means that Scotland will have to win their final game against France to be guaranteed of qualification. They will most likely need a draw to have a chance of being the best runner-up.
Scotland 0-2 France
France dominated the opening stages, with Perle Morroni hitting the woodwork in the opening minute. But Scotland did manage to test the French keeper through Amy Gallacher, although she couldn’t add to her tally.
And although France was still dominating, Scotland could have taken the lead through Erin Cuthbert, but unfortunately, her effort hit the woodwork.
After the goalless first half, France forced Flaherty into a couple of good saves early on.
But then France took the lead in the 58th minute through Théa Gerboval.
Scotland had a chance to equalise through a free-kick, but Cuthbert’s attempt was saved by the French keeper.
And then France doubled their lead through Grace Geyoro. Scotland could not find a way back into the tie, and they ended the Elite Round with a defeat against an impressive French side.
The top two ranked countries (England and Spain) were given a bye to the Elite Round. 44 countries are placed in 11 groups of four, and one team in each group is designated as the host. In each group, each country plays each other once and the top two sides progress to the Elite Round. Scotland were first seeds in Group 11, with the games played between 15th and 20th September 2015. Austria were the hosts.
Elite Round Rankings
Scotland’s performance saw them reach the Elite Round. The seedings for the Elite Round was decided by each country’s performance in the Qualifying Group, as shown at the top right. However, teams from the same Qualifying Group (eg Scotland and Austria) could not meet in the Elite Round. And England and Spain were automatically added to Pot A. The six group winners, alongside the best-placed runners-up, qualify for the tournament which is held in Slovakia. Scotland was drawn in Group 5 with Portugal as the hosts. The countries were ranked:
Elite Round Results
Ranking of Second-Placed Teams
Alongside the six group winners, the best runner-up qualified. To calculate the best runner-up, the six countries are ranked in order based on their results against the first and third-placed countries in their group. This is how they ranked:
As you can see, even if Scotland had beaten Portugal 1-0, they still would have needed to beat France.
These are the statistics for the squad for the whole Qualifying Campaign.