UEFA Euro 2017 Qualifying - Group 1 round-up: Scotland close in on Euro place, despite Iceland setback

The story of Group 1 in June was based on whether Iceland or Scotland would take a step towards winning the group, and unfortunately, it was Iceland who did so.

UEFA Euro 2017 Qualifying - Group 1 round-up: Scotland close in on Euro place, despite Iceland setback
Iceland's Gunnhildur Yrsa Jónsdóttir scores against Scotland. Photo: Twitter @ScottishFA

Although it had been only Scotland who had guaranteed a play-off spot going into the month, it was always highly unlikely that Slovenia would be able to catch Iceland.

3 June 2016

Scotland fell to a highly disappointing 4-0 defeat to Group 1 rivals Iceland. They were fortunate to go into half-time only 1-0 down thanks to Hallbera Guðny Gísladóttir's free-kick which crept into the top far corner after Scotland failed to clear.

And then, seven second-half minutes saw Iceland score three times to take the game firmly away from Scotland. Dagný Brynjarsdóttir's cross picked out the unmarked Harpa Thorsteinsdóttir to head the ball past Scotland's keeper Gemma Fay. Three minutes later, their third came from a corner which Gunnhildur Yrsa Jónsdóttir was once again left unmarked. Iceland's fourth was the fourth ball from the right wing, this time, Elísa Viðarsdóttir being the player left with the simplest of finishes.

In the other game, third-placed Slovenia thrashed bottom-placed Macedonia. It took just two minutes for Kaja Eržen to open the scoring and soon after she scored her second. Goals from Lara Prašnikar, Mateja Zver, Tjaša Tibaut and Barbara Kralj gave them a 6-0 lead at half-time. Further goals from Prašnikar, Tibaut and Kralj secured them a huge 9-0 win.

7 June 2016

Jo Love's diving header in the 15th minute proved enough for Scotland to secure all three points in their crucial UEFA Women's Euro 2017 Qualifier against Belarus.

The second half saw the debut of 17-year old Erin Cuthbert who produced an assured performance and was highly unlucky not to score.

Scotland's Lisa Evans runs at the Belarusian defence Photo: Twitter @ScottishFA
Lisa Evans runs at the Belarusian defence. Photo: Twitter @ScottishFA

Iceland secured their position as favourites to secure group winners and they thrashed Macedonia. Goals from Fanndis Frðriksdóttir, Elin Metta Jansen, Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir and a hat-trick from Harpa Thorsteinsdóttir saw them 6-0 up at half-time. They scored twice more through Frðriksdóttir and Dagný Brynjarsdóttir to pick up an 8-0 win.

It means that Iceland and Scotland have 18 points, with Iceland having a superior goal difference that sees them lead the group. Both sides are now guaranteed a play-off place, but it is likely that Scotland will finish second, especially as Iceland has one extra game, playing Slovenia, before hosting Scotland in September.

Whether Scotland will qualify as the six best runners-up will not be known until September. Only Italy could overtake Scotland to deny them one of the six spots.