Scotland women’s footballers delivered a 2-0 victory over a Cameroon side bound for the Olympics in the Chris Anderson Stadium at Aberdeen Sports Village yesterday.
An own goal by Cameroon’s Ariane Bebey Beyene in the 33rd minute put Scotland ahead, with the win secured by captain Joanne Love of Glasgow City in the 88th minute.
There were first caps for under-19 stars Eilish McSorley, also from Glasgow City, and Lana Clelland of Spartans as the Scots put in a solid performance..
The Granite City venue is being used as a pre-Games training camp for the Africans’ entire Olympic squad and so, bizarrely, they were the hosts for the match.
A physical and althletic challenge was anticipated by the Scots before kick-off and the African side didn’t disappoint.. Amid sporadic downpours and the occasional thunder and lightning, Cameroon’s speedy No 7 Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene posed an early threat down the right, but Forfar Farmington player Rachael Small harried well enough to put the talented midfielder off her stride.
Scotland, 21st in the world rankings and on course for a play-off spot in the 2012 Uefa European Qualifiers, have become known for their resilience and this was epitomised by centre-back Rhonda Jones whose organisation of the back-line and reading of the game snuffed out several dangerous crosses from the flanks..
The game turned in 35 minutes as Suzanne Grant felled a Cameroonian defender on the edge of the hosts’ 18-yard box. Confusion reigned as the resultant free-kick was hit over keeper Annette Flore Ngo Ndom by No 10 Ariane Bebey Beyene and into the net. Thus is was that the Scots were one up without posing any significant threat..
Scotland keeper Shannon Lynn, who has waited patiently on the sidelines for so long, was given a start as record caps holder Gemma Fay, with 144 appearances, suffered a dislocated finger earlier on the week. She commanded her area well and she had too, such was the regularity of crosses into her box throughout the match..
Cameroon, urged on by a passionate support, were playing with little shape and this allowed the Scots – expertly organised by coach Anna Signuel – to contain them for a majority of the second half and two minutes from the end Love sealed the win with a 25-yard lob.
Scotland: Lyn, Jones, Small (Doherty 75), McSorley, Ross (Dempster), Love, Sneddon, Lappin, Grant (Clelland), Brown, Mitchell (Thomson). Sub not used: Ramsay.