Scotland got their European Championship qualifying campaign off to a flying start with a convincing and utterly dominant victory over Croatia at Oriam.
An unbelievable goal from Kimberley McAlpine and a neat finish from striker Morgan Cross gave Scotland a deserved lead in a first half in which Croatia rarely threatened.
The second half was a much more competitive affair, but in injury time Cross scored two goals in as many minutes to complete her hat-trick and secure a comfortable victory for her team.
From the first whistle Scotland were all over their opponents with midfielder Kaela McDonald setting the tone for her side's relentless siege on the Croatia goal. Scotland's opponents simply could not get out of their own half, with any attempts to play out from the back thwarted by the energy, strength and determination of McDonald and her midfielder partner Michaela Mcalonie.
Indeed, it was McDonald who had her side's first effort of the game as her shot from range was tipped wide of the post by Croatian goalkeeper Nensi Adamović. From the resulting corner McDonald rose highest but didn’t get the required contact on the header as it sailed wide.
Croatia weren't helping themselves by sitting back and inviting pressure on their goal and it wasn’t before long until Scotland made them pay. In the twelve minute McAlpine picked the ball up in her right back position. Assuming that it would be impossible to score from so far out, the Croatian midfield sat off and watched as McAlpine wandered forward with the ball before unleashing a fierce shot from 45 yards which sailed into the top right corner of the net.
Wave after wave of Scotland attacks followed. Megan Robb and Leah Eddie tried their luck but captain Amy Muir, who had done well to cut in from the right, came closest with a curling, left footed shot that was well saved by Adamović.
In the 32nd minute, shortly after Croatia had their first effort on goal and Scotland goalkeeper Kiera Gibson had her first touch of the ball, Scotland doubled their lead. After the initial cross from the right wasn’t cleared by the Croatia defence, the ball fell to McDonald on the edge of the box. Her low shot was blocked and as the Croatian defenders dallied on the ball, Cross stole in to score her first of the game.