Spain followed up their 8-0 home win over Scotland with another 2-0 away win at Hampden Stadium in Glasgow to secure top spot in Group B and qualify for the World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand.
On a drizzly and drizzly evening, a record crowd of 7,804 for a competitive women’s game in Scotland turned out at Glasgow’s National Stadium to see if Scotland could somehow create the surprise and break Spain’s impressive 100% record of five straight wins, scoring 43 unanswered goals.
Scotland entered the pitch wearing their new dark blue and yellow strip for the first time, following their launch in March. They faced a Spanish side wearing an untraditional light blue stripe brimming with confidence thanks to their solid twenty-match unbeaten streak.
Scotland didn’t look phased by their 8-0 defeat at Sevilla in November last year as they battled through the game picking up four yellow cards in the process. They got off to a promising start when they threatened from the first minute, winning the game against Spain.
However, the optimism was short-lived as Spain were awarded a tenth-minute penalty following a Nicola Docherty trip over 2021 Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas. Spain captain Jennifer Hermoso coolly converted the penalty to give the visitors an early lead.
Spain thought they had doubled their lead in the 34th minute when Putellas headed for the crossbar, but the effort was ruled out for offside. Similarly, Scotland thought they had equalized in the 72nd minute when Martha Thomas escaped, but the flag was raised for offside long before the ball hit the back of the net.
Just five minutes later, the game was finally settled when Hermoso scored the second of the night for her and Spain after a well-worked move.
Scotland’s Spanish coach Martínez Losa reflected after the game on whether his side could compete better than they did in the second leg a few months ago.
“The fact that we are disappointed today with a 2-0 defeat means something. We are improving further as we have time to work on preparing our opponents and making sure the girls understand what it means to compete at the highest level.
Losa also commented on the record crowd.
“We seek to inspire girls, families and fans – not just girls – to follow us and be proud of what we produce and qualify for major tournaments.”
The result leaves Scotland battling with Ukraine and Hungary for second place in Group B, which would secure a playoff spot in October. Scotland currently lead Hungary by one point and will be guaranteed second place if they win their last two matches against Ukraine (likely in June) and the Faroe Islands away in September.
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