Scoring Scotland’s first World Cup goal a dream for Claire Emslie

Claire Emslie says scoring Scotland's first ever World Cup goal hasn't sunk in yet. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA
Claire Emslie says scoring Scotland's first ever World Cup goal hasn't sunk in yet. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA
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The feeling of history has yet to sink in for Claire Emslie after scoring Scotland’s first goal in a women’s World Cup.

The forward struck in the second half of her side’s opening match against England on their World Cup debut, as Shelley Kerr’s charges threatened to upset the auld enemy in Nice.

Getting a result proved narrowly out of reach in the 2-1 Group D defeat but nothing could stop Emslie from revelling in her moment in the sun – with plenty of Scottish support for company as she latched on to a clever Lisa Evans pass.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet. All I ever wanted from when I was a little kid was to play football for my country, so just being at a World Cup is a dream, let alone scoring the first ever goal,” said the 25-year-old.

“When the ball went in I don’t even think I celebrated, I just tried to grab the ball to try to see if we could score another one and try to get a result. I can’t believe it right now, but hopefully there will be many more to add from the team in the future.

“It was brilliant to hear the echo from the fans coming back to us – seeing so many of them come out in their kilts and their Scotland shirts with their flags was magic.

“It is amazing that we have been able to inspire the nation to come out here and give them something to celebrate and the support from the fans has been top class.”

Emslie’s former Manchester
City team-mate Nikita Parris
opened the scoring in France, tucking home a penalty awarded by the video assistant referee for a handball in the penalty area.

Scotland struggled to come to terms with the setback and were two down before the break, Ellen White doubling the lead with a neat finish. But Scotland regrouped and came out firing in the second half, with Emslie’s goal no less than they deserved, providing a major confidence boost ahead of games against Argentina and Japan.

“The VAR decision threw us a bit and it is tough to go down so early to a penalty, so I think that affected us a bit,” said the Orlando Pride striker.

“That was the first game I have ever played with VAR. I have seen it used on TV, but it wasn’t a great start and I found it really confusing.

“There are positives to take from the second half and it was great that we scored a goal so hopefully there will be more of those to come in the next games.

“Women’s football is getting bigger and bigger and Fifa have done a great job so far.

“France have been brilliant at accommodating us and 
the fans have been magic so it has been a really enjoyable experience so far.”