Scotland Women took another big step towards Euro 2013 qualification last night with a 1-0 victory over Republic of Ireland at Turner’s Cross in Cork.
The result leaves Anna Signeul’s girls needing just one point from their remaining two fixtures against Wales and France to clinch a play-off place.
The Scots, buoyed by their weekend 8-0 thrashing of Israel, started the match in terrific fashion, penning the hosts back and going close through both Jane Ross and Kim Little. The early pressure from the visitors paid off in the 25th minute when defender Rachel Corsie was on hand to slot the ball into the net from close range after Emma Byrne had saved a header from Jennifer Beattie.
It took until the second half before Ireland forced Gemma Fay into a save of note – the Celtic goalkeeper getting down well to block a low shot from Niamh Fahey. After a quiet first half, Fay would find herself called into action regularly as Ireland piled the pressure onto the Scottish defence.
Aine O’Gorman missed a great chance when she scooped the ball over the bar before substitute Denise O’Sullivan was denied by Gemma Fay and Ifeome Dieke on separate occasions as Ireland chased an equaliser.
However, despite a nerve-wracking closing few moments Scotland held on to claim three crucial points and move within touching distance of their objective.