Shoot-out defeat for our Women in Pisa

With normal time finishing in another goalless stalemate against Wales in the semi-final of the World Cup Qualifier in Pisa, for the second time the Scots were faced with a shoot-out to decide the side that would contest tomorrow`s final and the single qualifying place on offer.

Again, the Scots were on the wrong end of the cruel contest, losing 3-1 to Wales who move forward to the final. Scotland were always on the back foot after Wales scored first and Charlotte Watson missed the opening opportunity. Amy Gibson then pulled off a good save to prevent the Welsh from extending their one goal lead. Wales moved into a 2-0 lead after Sarah Jamieson also missed following another Wales goal, but hopes were raised when Emily Dark pulled the score back to 2-1.

Wales then made it 3-1, Sarah Robertson also missed… and that ended the World Cup dream.

It was a tense occasion, with a World Cup qualifying place at stake, and the first half reflected that tension with few chances to either side.

The first quarter was dominated by penalty corners with Scotland getting the better of the five awarded. Emily Dark had a good chance, but her flick was brilliantly saved by the keeper, the other two were well defended. So, no goals emanated from any of the set pieces.

Wales had the better of the opening part of the second quarter, they pushed the Scots back to defend their own circle but, in the end, created no real scoring opportunities. The best chance of the quarter fell to Emily Dark but her attempt from a very narrow angle went well wide of the target.

And so, the first half finished goalless.

Scotland`s chances were limited by a yellow card to Amy Costello early in the third quarter. Wales took advantage to take most of the possession but found themselves frustrated by good defending by Scotland – keeper Amy Gibson was not really tested. Wales did gain a penalty corner, but it was easily defended.

The Scots were more in attack at the start of the final quarter, but this was then frustrated by a yellow card to Charlotte Watson.

As the game reached its end there were final chances to win the game in normal time: the Scots won a penalty corner but Dark`s attempted flick was charged down by the Welsh defence; while at the other end Gibson had to look lively to clear the danger.

Eventually the game finished without a goal…and so on to the shoot-out.

A disappointed coach, Chris Duncan, said: “We paid the price of not playing with our usual confidence and fluidity and despite having chances we failed to score. It was very disappointing that we couldn`t score and take the tie in normal time. To be fair, I thought Wales played well.”

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