Both Spain and Scotland had plenty to play for before this final group game. Spain were second in the standings with three points, while Scotland, despite being last and with zero points, could advance if they won by two goals in this game and Portugal to lost.
Weir stuns dominant Spanish
The game started out relatively slow, with neither team really threatening much. As expected it was a Spanish side in control of possession, and whatever chances there was were created by Spain. The chances however, were far too often from distance and the Spanish players struggled to get the shot directed towards goal.
At the 30 minute mark, Scotland started to come further up the pitch, trying to put some pressure on the Spanish midfield and defence, and this opened up the game. It was also in this period that Spain’s best run of play came. A bit of ping pong in and around the Scottish area resulted in a chance for Spain, as Gemma Fay in Scotland’s goal failed to gather a ball. Fay redeemed herself as she dished up two brilliant reaction saves on the following two corners, when first Jenni Hermoso and then Irene Paredes were denied.
Five minutes before the half, Fay was once again in focus, but this time it was because she handled a ball well out of her own area. Today’s referee Jana Adámková awarded her with a yellow card, and Scotland will count themselves a little lucky to still be 11 women on the pitch.
Against the run of play, Scotland went ahead shortly before half-time, when a long ball saw both Scottish midfielder Erin Cuthbert and Spanish goalkeeper Sandra Paños do their most to catch the ball first. Cuthbert won that battle, and her efforts saw the ball fall to Caroline Weir who fired a shot on goal. Paredes did her all to try and stop the ball on the goal line, but despite her efforts it went in and Scotland went ahead 1-0.
Scots unable to get vital second goal
Spain came out for the second half looking for that equaliser that could prove critical in the overall picture. But despite Spain dominating possession, it was Scotland who went close to a goal first. A perfectly delivered corner found Leanna Crichton, whose shot didn’t trouble Paños.
After this it was all Spain, who had a number of big chances. First one came courtesy of Silvia Meseguer, who hit the post after a shot from distance. After her it was substitute María Paz who had a go, but she could not get her header directed towards goal.
In the 79th minute it looked like Spain had finally found their goal when a diving header from Alexia Putellas looked like a certain goal, but a splendid save from Fay kept the ball out. However, Fay could only parry it out to Paz, who headed the ball towards goal from close range. Paz thought she had scored, but Ifeoma Dieke went in with a last ditch header and cleared the ball of the line.
Scotland knew they had to score another goal, and in the final minutes of the game they made a late push for it. This opened the game up and it became very back and forth, but neither side found a goal and it ended 1-0 to Scotland.
Scotland got the win, but will be heading home together with Portugal. Spain on the other hand are heading to the quarterfinals where they will meet the winners of Group C, Austria. England won Group D and a quarter-final against France awaits them.