UEFA Women's Euro 2017 Qualifier - Iceland vs Scotland Preview: Scots hoping to end on a high

UEFA Women's Euro 2017 Qualifier - Iceland vs Scotland Preview: Scots hoping to end on a high

Scotland may have qualified and the Tartan Army may be packing their bags for their first ever major tournament, but there is one more qualifier left. Despite Scotland not needing to win, they will be playing to restore pride.

Tim Oliver

So Scotland have qualified for their first ever major tournament after Portugal's win over Finland. But does that mean that the qualifier against Iceland means nothing? No. As Anna Signuel, the national manager said, the preparations for the tournament starts on Tuesday.

And Scotland will have to play the qualifier without Ifeoma Dieke or star player Kim Little who have both withdrawn, with Hibernian's defender Emma Brownlie being called up.

The defeat earlier to Iceland was a harrowing moment for Scotland and Signuel has stated that they've worked on defending and will change their tactics ahead of the game. And Scotland lost pride in that defeat, something they will look to get back.

Scotland can still win Group 1, but as head-to-head is the first factor that UEFA uses to decide position if the points are equal - Scotland need to win 5-0 due to Iceland's superior goal difference.

If Scotland is to reach their aim of the Quarter-Finals, they will have to be able to take points off sides like Iceland. However, there is no doubt that whatever the result on Tuesday, the whole of Scottish Women's Football needs to make sure this really is a seismic moment in the sport's history.

Campaign so far

The campaign started got off to a good start, although it was perhaps tougher than Scotland would have preferred. Travelling to Slovenia, they required a hat-trick from Kim Little to leave with all three points. Their first home qualifier looked like it could be a potential banana skin until the final minute before half-time where Jane Ross headed in the first of her numerous goals in this campaign.

Scotland became a transformed team in the second half, with the side playing with an intensity they had been lacking. Caroline Weir scored twenty seconds after the break, and goals from Rachel Corsie, another from Jane Ross, Lisa Evans and a Jo Love double secured a 7-0 win.

Four goals in ten first-half minutes saw Scotland defeat Macedonia 4-1 in Skopje. Little opened the scoring, before Corsie scored two in two minutes – whilst Weir rounded up the scoring. But, they would also concede their first goal of the campaign when Macedonia scored just before half-time through Gentjana Rochi's composed finish.

However, when Scotland played Macedonia in wintry conditions in Paisley, it would see the Scots unleash a dominant and stunning performance, with the home side displaying the precise attacking play they are capable of. Three minutes into the game, Jane Ross' header got the Scots on their way. Two goals from Love and goals from Jennifer Beattie, Lauder and Evans gave them a 6-0 lead at half-time. Love and Jane Ross completed their hat-tricks in the second half, with Jane Ross adding a fourth.

Next up was Slovenia at home, and Scotland had a tricky game. They took the lead in the 19th minute when Jane Ross found the bottom corner, but late in the first half, Slovenia equalised through Kristina Erman's looping header. However, Scotland regrouped and three minutes retook the lead through Jane Ross. And early in the second half, Kim Little's penalty made sure of the points.

June though, saw the campaign hit a hitch as they lost to group rivals Iceland. They were fortunate to go in at half-time just 1-0 down, with that goal coming from Hallbera Guðny Gísladóttir’s free-kick that crept in the top corner. But in seven second-half minutes, Iceland scored three times – Harpa Thorsteinsdóttir's header, Gunnhildur Yrsa Jónsdóttir's header and Margarét Lára Viðarsdóttir's simple finish. All four of Iceland's goals came from down the right wing.

Four days later, they faced an away trip to Belarus where Jo Love's diving header saw Scotland pick up a crucial 1-0 win. 


Goalkeepers: Gemma Fay (Glasgow City), Shannon Lynn (Vittjso GIK)

Defenders: Jennifer Beattie (Manchester City), Emma Brownlie (Hibernian), Nicky Docherty (Glasgow City), Emma Mitchell (Arsenal), Joelle Murray (Hibernian), Kirsty Smith (Hibernian)

Midfielders: Leanne Crichton (Notts County), Hayley Lauder (Glasgow City), Jo Love (Glasgow City), Leanne Ross (Glasgow City), Caroline Weir (Liverpool).

Forwards: Lizzie Arnot (Hibernian), Fiona Brown (Glasgow City), Lana Clelland (UPC Tavagnacco), Lisa Evans (FC Bayern Munich), Abigail Harrison (Hibernian), Christie Murray (Doncaster Rovers Belles), Zoe Ness (Mallbackens), Jane Ross (Manchester City)