Scotland came into their UEFA Women’s U17 Championship qualification fixture against Georgia off the back of a 4-0 victory over Israel in the first group match of this campaign. The Scots were on a good run at Ainslie Park, despite this encounter technically being an away tie.
They hoped to continue the good form they showed in the opening group match as Pauline Mcdonald’s side comfortably dispatched Israel 4-0, with Rebecca Taylor and Lisa Forrest both bagging a brace.
And that they did, as Scotland cemented their place at the top of the group with a second consecutive 4-0.
Scotland looked to build on the momentum they gained in their initial win by way of a change in formation opting for a 4-4-2. They played a 4-1-4-1 against Israel, suggesting that the manager was eager to start the match against Georgia on the front foot in the search for goals.
And in this attack, there are plenty of those with prolific striker Laura Berry scoring 12 goals in just 11 matches for the National Team.
Georgia came to Ainslie Park after a narrow 3-2 loss to Israel in the first game of the group, after scoring the opening goal of the match on the stroke of half-time.
Despite some tough experiences in their last few international trips, the young side stuck to their principals throughout and tried to play the ball out from the back and encourage the technical development of their players.
Despite Georgia’s best intentions they could not stop a classy Scotland team, who stroked the ball around fantastically all afternoon, and managed to break the deadlock with only 45 seconds on the clock.
The attack started with a lovely touch past the opposition winger from Erin Husband, who got her head up and found her wing partner. Jessica Linden then stood up her defender and picked a lovely pass through the lines into Berry’s feet who was able to play a one-two with her strike partner and slot the ball calmy under the Georgian goalkeeper.
The 15-year-old striker continued her rich vein of scoring form and followed it up with a dance with her teammates, demonstrating the chemistry that has developed between these young women. A harmony Scotland fans will be keen to see flourish as many of these players could have big futures in the international setup.
Scotland’s eagerness to press and win the ball back caught up with them in the 15th minute when, right-sided midfielder Taylor was given a contentious booking for a flailing arm that did not, upon second viewing, seem to make much contact.
As the half progressed, Scotland looked more and more dominant, passing the ball and moving well as a team to ensure the player in possession always had options. However, this sustained possession was unable to fashion any more clear-cut chances.
The best of these half-chances came in the 36th minute, when a Lucy Barclay shot from the edge of the box glanced wide of the Georgia goal.
Scotland’s persistence in attack paid off, when they were awarded a penalty in the 41st minute. Barclay, who had been a thorn in both full-back’s sides for the entire half with her tricky play, was deemed to have been fouled when challenging for an awkward, bouncing ball.
Taylor stuck the penalty coolly to the Georgian goalkeepers right, sending her the wrong way to double Scotland’s advantage going into the break.
Scotland made three changes during the half-time interval, bringing on Jessica Husband, Mason Clark, Holly Daniel for Summer Laird, Taylor and Sophia Martin.
With these changes also came a change in formation as Scotland switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation.
McDonald decided to make another change, not long after the break. Bringing on Jessica Black for Linden in the 56th minute, as Scotland continued to control and probe but were unable to make any more significant breakthroughs.
Scotland had a half chance in the form of a volley from the edge of the box from Brodie Greenwood but was dealt with easily by the Georgian goalkeeper. Shortly after this opportunity Scotland made their fifth change with Aimee Black coming on to replace Barclay.
Georgia’s frustration began to show as Lizi Kankia was booked for kicking the ball away as Scotland attempted a quick restart to the game from a free kick.
Once the freekick was taken, Georgia do not touch the ball again before it is in the back of their net. A superb passage of play, comprising of well over ten passes was smashed home with a lovely strike from Clark on the edge of the box in the 71st minute. The Rangers player looked lively after being brought on and was well worth her goal.
Georgia came out of their shell a bit towards the end, trying desperately to claw their way back into the match. This increased vigour saw them create a few more chances but nothing to really trouble Lucy Inman who stood firm.
This increased intensity did not pay off for Georgia and Scotland capitalised on the exposed defence, securing the fourth goal in the 89th minute. Berry pounced upon a miscued clearance from the goalkeeper and lashed the ball into the back of the net, marking the last meaningful action of the match with Scotland running out comfortable 4-0 winners.
Georgia Player of the Match: Natia Jojua
She was technically very good and proved a tough defender for both wingers.
Scotland Player of the Match: Laura Berry
She was influential throughout with her link up play and scored two goals.
Georgia Magic Moment: Far out free kick
Bukhrikidze freekick from distance in the 80th minute was on target but just didn’t have the power to trouble Inman.
Scotland Magic Moment: Mason Clark’s Wonderstrike
Clark’s strike from the edge of the box for the third goal all but sealed the points for Scotland.
Georgia U17 Womens:
1. Salome Khachapuridze
4. Ana Pavlisashvili
6. Nata Kvrikvaia
7. Lizi Kankia
9. Nini Beridze
10. Elene Chikovani
13. Nino Bukhrikidze
14. Tinatin Ambalia
15. Tamuna Londaridze
17. Natia Jojua
19. Lizi Gogoladze
12. Anano Sigua
3. Ani Khachaturova
5. Natia Tsetskhladze
8. Mariam Mamporia
16. Shorena Janezashvili
18. Ana Sagriashvili
20. Keso Metonidze
Scotland U17 Womens:
12. Lucy Inman
2. Erin Husband
3. Mia McArthur
5. Madison Finnie
7. Rebecca Taylor
6. Brodie Greenwood
9. Laura Berry
15. Summer Laird
16. Lucy Barclay
20. Sophia Martin
18. Jessica Linden
1. Ava Easden
4. Aimee Black
8. Mason Clark
10. Sophie Black
13. Jessica Husband
14. Georgina Norton-Bradford
19. Holly Daniel
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