Two early Norwegian goals had threatened to make it a more uncomfortable night.
“It took us a bit of time to adjust,” Kerr admitted. “Once we sorted that out tactically we did better, especially towards the end of the first half and I thought we were really good in the second half – albeit we still conceded.”
Having promised to give game time to all 23 players in La Manga, and with a further six not having made the trip, Kerr made seven changes from the side which started the previous game against the United States. Just two – defender Jen Beattie and Caroline Weir, pictured, – were regular World Cup qualifying starters.
The Norwegians were also understrength but took a firm grip on the game with two goals in three minutes early in the half. The first came from deep in their own half and Wolfsburg’s Caroline Graham Hansen ended a slick move down the left by scoring from close range. The same player was then only denied by Shannon Lynn’s leg, but the second goal followed when Lisa-Marie Utland converted Guro Reiten’s pass from the right. Reiten then just failed to get the touch needed to make it three as the Scotland defence struggled.
The pattern was all too reminiscent of the game between the sides at the same venue 12 months earlier, and as then Scotland were fortunate to reach half-time just the two goals down. Fiorentina striker Lana Clelland was given little support, although she did test Cecilie Fiskerstrand with a shot midway through the half.
A third goal arrived in 53 minutes – but this time it was for Scotland and not Norway. Leanne Crichton was brought down in the box by Ina Gausdal, who was booked, and Weir converted the penalty via the inside of a post.
Scotland’s hopes of a recovery ended when Graham Hansen finished clinically after being sent through on Lynn.
The same player nearly got her hat-trick but was denied first by the bar and then the leg of the Scotland goalkeeper from the rebound.