Scotland beat Wales on penalties in Cyprus Cup

By Alan Campbell

For BBC Scotland in Paralimni

Kirsty Smith came close for Scotland in the first half

Scotland beat Wales 6-5 on penalties in Paralimni to clinch fifth place in the Cyprus Cup.

Kirsty Smith came close for the Scots in the first half when her shot was tipped over the crossbar.

Jane Ross fired wide in the second half and was later denied by goalkeeper Laura O'Sullivan after Lisa Evans had fired against the bar.

With no goals in 90 minutes, the play-off tie went to spot-kicks and Frankie Brown scored the decisive kick.

There was an inevitable air of anti-climax following the group games and it did not help that the Scots had several players out with injury. Six of Anna Signeul's usual starting line-up, including Kim Little, were not even on the bench.

A further four, including Evans and Ross, did not start, leaving central defender Ifeoma Dieke, who was captain for the day, as the only regular in the starting XI.

Wales chose a strong team but after coming close in the third minute, when Rachel Rowe forced goalkeeper Shannon Lynn to make a good block with her leg, they failed to take advantage of Scotland's makeshift line-up.

Signeul's injury woes continued when a stretcher was called for Rachel McLauchlan as she lay injured after only 10 minutes, but the Hibernian right-back, making her first Scotland start, was able to continue.

However, Hibs captain Joelle Murray was replaced by Brown after 32 minutes.

Left-back Smith came closest to scoring midway through the first half, her fine 30-yard shot touched over by O'Sullivan.

Substitutes Ross and Evans altered the dynamic of the game after the break and Ross had a great chance to score her 50th Scotland goal but slipped the ball wide.

Evans then rattled the frame of the goal and Ross's attempt to net the rebound was blocked.

The Manchester City striker continued in pursuit of the landmark goal but was just over with a shot from 20 yards.

Substitute Fiona Brown crossed for Lizzie Arnot, who could not direct her header past O'Sullivan with the clock ticking down.

Evans, and then Ross - twice - in stoppage time, again came very close before full-time.

Hayle Ladd and Amina Vine were unsuccessful with their penalties for Wales while Scotland's Caroline Weir had her spot-kick saved before Brown converted to settle the tie.

Scotland: Lynn, McLauchlan, J Murray (Fr Brown), Dieke, Smith, L Ross (Fi Brown), Weir, Crichton, Arnot, Cuthbert (J Ross), C Murray (Evans).

Wales: O'Sullivan, Harding (Miles), Ladd, Ingle, Gemma Evans (Vine), Georgia Evans, Fishlock (James), Rowe (Thomas), Beynon (Estcourt), Lawrence, Green (Fletcher).

Referee: E Urban (Hungary).

BBC

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