FORMER Arsenal player Jenny Beattie admits she and herScotland team-mates would have loved to be playing England in the final of the Cyprus Women’s Cup today, but accepts that South Korea are decent compensation.
Like her older brother Johnnie at Murrayfield on Saturday, Beattie was on the wrong end of a French mugging in Cyprus. Having thought they’d done enough to make the final with two wins and a draw, Beattie’s side were denied on goal difference when France scored with the last kick of the ball against the Netherlands.
“Any Scottish player would want to meet England in a final,” Beattie, who played in London before her move to Montpellier, pointed out. “That aspect of it is obviously disappointing, but it has been an awesome trip so far with the results we’ve had against much higher ranked sides.”
Scotland and South Korea, who have never met in a women’s match before, will now play for third and fourth place in Larnaca while the final between England and France is played in Nicosia. A win would give Scotland their best finish in the annual tournament.
“It will be really good to play South Korea because if we qualify for next year’s World Cup in Canada they are the type of team we could be meeting,” Beattie said. “They are very technical and offer a contrast to the more physical teams we usually play.”
Beattie has played alongside Ifeoma Dieke in two of the three Cyprus Cup games and says the return from long-term injury of the Vittsjo central defender has been a huge boost to the team. “She is a player of huge talent who was in the GB team for the London Olympics,” Beattie said.
At the other end of the pitch Lisa Evans is the top scorer in the tournament with four goals, and fellow striker Jane Ross is just one behind following her hat-trick against Australia. Despite being landed in the toughest group, Scotland scored more goals – nine – than any of the other 12 teams in the competition. “Lisa and Jane are on great form at the minute,” agreed Beattie, who expects stick on her return to Montpellier after scoring an own goal against France in the first game.