ALTHOUGH it took them a long time to hit their stride, Scotland moved back to the top of Group 1 with an ultimately convincing five-goal demolition of Belarus at Fir Park.
For all the Scots’ early possession, there was very little threat to the Belarus goalkeeper and captain Ina Batsianouskaya in the opening half-hour.
They finally went close when Hayley Lauder’s free-kick was met by Caroline Weir at the far post, but her first-time shot was deflected against the wrong side of the post by a Belarus defender.
Just as it looked as if the visitors would hold out until half-time Little, the scorer of all three goals in Slovenia, set up the opener. Her long ball into the box was met perfectly by striker Jane Ross two minutes from the interval.
If they waited a long time to make the breakthrough in the first half, Scotland wasted no time in the second.
Less than two minutes were on the clock when Weir played a one-two with Little before running in on Batsianouskaya to score.
Seven minutes later it was three. Rachel Corsie plays in central defence for Seattle Reign, and is a holding midfielder for Scotland – but she showed a striker’s reactions to take Ross’s pass and scoop the ball past the Belarus keeper.
Needing a fourth to go top of the group, the goal arrived in the 67th minute.
Little was again the provider, this time with a corner from the left, and Ross met it at the near post for her second headed goal of the game. Two minutes later it was five. The Belarus defence made a mess of clearing a long ball from Jenny Beattie, and Evans ran in to beat Batsianouskaya.
The Scots continued to pound the Belarus goal, with several near misses before Love added a stunning double just before the end.