Scotland 1 – 0 Belgium
Julie Fleeting 4’ (Scotland)
Scotland notched up their second win in three days at The Falkirk Stadium this evening.
Following Sunday’s 5-0 win over Switzerland, Anna Signeul stuck with the same starting 11, including the promising front pairing of record goal-scorer Julie Fleeting and young Glasgow City striker Jane Ross.
Fleeting’s power in the air caused all sorts of problems for the Belgian defence, and she headed Scotland into the lead inside three minutes. The Arsenal striker rose above everyone in the box to head Hayley Lauder’s corner past Sabrina Broos.
Her strike partner almost made it two ten minutes later. Megan Sneddon sent in a corner from the left, which Broos punched clear. The ball pinged back into the box onto the head of Ross, but Broos pulled off a superb save at point-blank range.
There was a scare when Fleeting turned her ankle and required treatment at the side of the pitch, but she was able to carry on.
Scotland looked comfortable on the ball, and put together some patient build-up play, with Belgium rarely able to find a way through.
Defender Rachel Corsie split the midfield when she made a driving run down the centre of the pitch and whipped a cross out to Lauder on the left wing, but her shot flew just wide.
A deep Rachael Small cross found the feet of Kim Little as the half-hour approached, but the Arsenal midfielder failed to connect and sent her shot uncharacteristically wide.
Belgium started to press forward as the match wore on and Audrey Demoustier’s deflected shot was held by Scotland ‘keeper Gemma Fay.
A few minutes later the captain pulled off a stunning save to preserve Scotland’s lead. Demoustier sent in a dangerous curling shot from a short corner, and Fay was at full-stretch as she tipped the ball round the post.
Scotland started the second half with purpose. Within two minutes of the re-start, Fleeting whipped a cross into Ross in the penalty box, but with the ‘keeper off her line, she sent the ball into the side netting.
A spate of second half substitutions broke up the play, and Scotland were limited to long-range efforts as Belgium closed them down.
Lien Mermanshad had a golden opportunity to level the match as she bore down on Fay in the penalty box, but the Scotland keeper raced out to kick clear.
Scotland now face Finland on 18 September (away) and 21 September (home) in two international challenge matches. They kick-off the Euro 2013 qualifiers away to Israel on 12 October.
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