Norway 3-0 Scotland: Kerr suffers first Scotland defeat

A double from Isabell Herlovsen helped Norway to beat Scotland 3-0.

Norway 3-0 Scotland: Kerr suffers first Scotland defeat
Isabell Herlovsen scored twice for Norway. Photo: Getty Images/Trond Tandberg
Norway
3 0
Scotland
Norway: Lee Alexander (Jenna Fife, min. 75); Frankie Brown (Kirsty Smith, min. 83), Jennifer Beattie, Sophie Howard, Emma Mitchell; Leanne Crichton (Rachel Small, min. 54), Jo Love; Lisa Evans (Rachel McLauchlan, min. 70), Erin Cuthbert (Caroline Weir, min. 56), Claire Emslie (Christie Murray, min. 83); Jane Ross.
Scotland: Ingrid Hjelmseth, Ingrid Moe Wold, Ina Gaudal, Maria Throisdottir, Kristine Minde, Guro Reiten, Ingvild Isaksen (Ingrid Marie Spord, min. 79), Maren Mjelde, Caroline Graham Hansen (Emilie Haavi, min. 41), Frida Maanum (Synne Skinnes Hansen, min. 64), Isabell Herlovsen (Synne Hansen, min. 64).
SCORE: 1-0, min. 12, Harlovsen. 2-0, min. 29, Harlovsen. 3-0, min. 53, Thorisdottir.
INCIDENTS: Friendly match played at La Manga.

A double from Isabell Herlovsen helped condemn Scotland to a 3-0 defeat to Norway, the first defeat under Shelley Kerr.

There were flashes of positive moments, particularly in the opening ten minutes, but overall there is little for Scotland to take from this game. Too often, Scotland were caught out in their own third with slowness in their passing.

However, this period ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup Qualifiers are all about the work done in the training field – so it is far too early to make full judgements.

Scotland started with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Sophie Howard making her first start for Scotland. They started pressing high up the pitch and controlling the game with composed passing. But the game changed on in the 12th minute when Herlovsen founded the bottom corner. Norway was now on top and had the ball cleared off the line by Frankie Brown before Herlovsen doubled their lead.

Erin Cuthbert had a shot blocked from close range on the stroke of half-time, but any chances of Scotland mounting a comeback were extinguished where Maria Thorisdottir headed in Norway's third goal.

In the second half, Hibernian's keeper Jenna Fife made her debut, replacing Lee Alexander in the 75th minute.

 

Scotland's bright start

Scotland started the game brightly with an organised pressing system winning the ball high up the pitch, and then when they won the ball, there was a calmness about their play. Manchester City's Claire Emslie was causing Norway problems and she came close to opening the scoring, only for Ingrid Hjelmseth to make a great save low down.

Norway in control

But a minute later, Norway took the lead when a smart one-two opened up Scotland's defence and Isabell Herlovsen gave keeper Lee Alexander no chance with her effort.

Scotland had a half chance to equalise as Lisa Evans' cross found Jane Ross in the box, but she could only get a weak connection on her header, and Hjelmseth made a simple save.

Norway sensed blood and Caroline Graham Hansen had two great chances: one saved by Alexander and the other went just over. Guro Reiten was the next player to test Alexander, with the Glasgow City keeper producing a great save to tip past the post.

 

Herlovsen shows her class

Superb last ditching defending was all that prevented from Norway doubling their lead when first of all Frankie Brown cleared the ball off the line and then Jennifer Beattie made a stunning sliding-tackle to stop Herlovsen scoring from close range.

But that would prove to be a temporary rest bite as Norway then scored their second. Scotland gave away possession on the edge of the box and with some players appealing for offside, Herlovsen found the top-left corner with an adept curled finish.

With half-time approaching, Scotland found themselves getting back into the game with Emslie causing problems on the counter. And when she had her shot deflected behind, Scotland had their best chance of the first half. The corner caused chaos with Beattie and Jane Ross having efforts blocked before Cuthbert had her effort blocked at the far post.

 

Cruise control

Scotland started the second half like the first, this time, creating a chance in the opening minute when Cuthbert played in Evans, but her effort was saved by Hjelmseth low down.

But eight minutes into the second half, Norway scored their third. After Beattie cut out Ingrid Moe Wold's cross, Norway scored from the resulting corner as Maria Thorisdottir made a late run from the edge of the box to head into the top corner.

Stand-in captain Jo Love reacted quickest after Emslie's cross was cleared, but her long-range effort was easily saved.

Caroline Weir shot wide and Emslie had an effort well saved before Emma Mitchell had an effort cleared off the line.

Next up for Scotland is their game against Russia on Monday.