Three quick goals in seven minutes helped Scotland overcome Northern Ireland

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Three quick fire goals in the first-half gave Scotland a 3-0 victory over Northern Ireland to make it three wins on the spin.

Erin Cuthbert, Sam Kerr and Martha Thomas all scored within seven minutes in the first half as they saw off their Northern Irish counterparts in a friendly. On a cold and rainy night in Dundee, Scotland once again showed their attacking prowess as they dominated large portions of the game at Dens Park with little threat to their goal. After the match manager Pedro Martinez Losa was pleased his side came away with a win.

“The first half especially, we had good tempo, we had a lot of the ball,” he explained. “The opponent made it difficult for us to progress but we found a way. That’s what you want the team to do, we found the solutions, made big opportunities and scored three goals. Second half we got a bit more sloppy because the pitch became heavy and with where we are in the season, it is difficult for the players. I’m delighted that we are scoring goals, making people happy. There were no injuries and we managed to give some opportunities to new players. It’s all good.”

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Scotland started the first half quickly with Northern Ireland keeper Shannon Turner forced to keep out good efforts from Thomas, Caroline Weir and Cuthbert within the first 11 minutes. The hosts should have gone ahead on the 30 minute mark as a crossed ball managed to evade three players inside the box before being cleared. However, the Tartan Army kept pushing and got the opening goal two minutes later. Edinburgh-born Emma Watson crossed the ball in for Cuthbert in the box who made no mistake. Scotland kept the pressure on Northern Ireland after the opener and soon had a second as Sam Kerr headed home from a corner on 37 minutes. The hosts lead was extended to three just before the break as poor clearance bounced off Thomas onto the post and into the net to give the Tartan Army a comfortable lead at half-time.

Scotland are unbeaten in their last five games. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)Scotland are unbeaten in their last five games. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)
Scotland are unbeaten in their last five games. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

The action had calmed for the start of the second half with neither team having a clear chance on goal. Thomas had the only real effort towards the opposing net within the first 20 minutes as her strike flew over the bar. Northern Ireland claimed they should have had a penalty midway through the half as a player went down inside the box but the referee waved their protests away. From there, Scotland were fairly comfortable as they saw out a 3-0 win.

“If you look at us a year ago compared to now you can see our performances and results have improved over time,” Kerr added. “Obviously, we work on our style of play and it is a process, we need to acknowledge that, it is not going to be perfect straight away. You need to make mistakes to build on it. Last camp we beat Australia, that was amazing against a team going to the World Cup. Tonight we have beaten Northern Ireland 3-0 and then we have got Finland [on Tuesday]. It would be good to get one last good result against Finland to set us up for the Nations League.”