Scotland 3 - 1 Slovenia: Scots move step closer to Euros

Scotland's Kim LIttle scores a penalty in the 3-1 win over Slovenia. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS

Scotland's Kim LIttle scores a penalty in the 3-1 win over Slovenia. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS

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The prospect of Scotland contesting Euro 2017 in the Netherlands next year remains firmly on course after two goals by Jane Ross and a Kim Little penalty got the better of a determined performance by Slovenia.

The visitors briefly got back on level terms just before the interval, when the Scots conceded only their second goal of the campaign, but as expected Scotland finished the night on maximum points after five games.

Hibs captain Joelle Murray and Liverpool’s Caroline Weir dropped out of the side which drew 1-1 with Spain in a friendly at Falkirk last month. Central defender Ifeoma Dieke and Bayern Munich attacker Lisa Evans returned from injury and illness respectively.

There was also another start for young Hibs’ right back Kirsty Smith, with Glasgow City’s Hayley Lauder pushed up to join Evans and Kim Little in the three behind Jane Ross.

It didn’t take long to work out that Slovenia intended to sit in as Scotland dominated the early possession. It quickly got too much for the visiting coach Rob Dimer, who ran to the touchline shouting for more energy from his players after Leanne Crichton had a shot deflected for a corner.

That was a rare attempt on goal in a cat-and-mouse opening 15 minutes in which Little also had a shot saved and Lara Ivanusa fired wide at the 
other end.

The Scots needed a settler and they got it after 18 minutes.

Good work by Crichton and Lauder fed Ross on the edge of the Slovenian box. The Manchester City striker turned and sent a low shot into the corner past Eva Vamberger.

Scotland continued to dominate, playing some neat one-touch football which kept Vamberger busy without threatening a second goal.

Evans, with a shot from 35 yards, came closest but the keeper easily gathered.

The longer the half went on the more Slovenia emerged as an attacking force. There had already been efforts wide of the posts by Lara Prasnikar and Tjasa Tibaut before the home crowd were stunned in the 40th minute.

Anisa Rola swung in a free kick and it was met with a looping header by Kristina Erman, who plays for FC Twente. Gemma Fay, who hadn’t made a save all night, got a hand to the ball but failed to stop it trickling into the net.

That wasn’t in the script, but the home side took only four minutes to react. A build-up involving several players ended with Evans and Little exchanging passes and Ross had a simple tap-in for her 
second goal.

Scotland went three up early in the second half thanks to a soft penalty. Kim Little was going nowhere when she was kicked in the back of the leg by Dominika Conc and Polish referee Monika Mularczyk had no hesitation pointing to the spot.

Little, who scored all three goals in Slovenia, made no mistake from the spot. The Scots continued to dominate, but to the visitors’ credit they refused to buckle and restricted the scoreline to three.

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