Scotland’s women ended a European Championship qualifying campaign of missed opportunities with a demoralising 2-0 defeat to streetwise Portugal.
Scotland, who had the better of the match, were unable to take their chances, despite having 70% of possession and six shots on target.
Portugal however, were ruthless, and capitalised on Scotland’s wastefulness with a goal in both halves, scored by Ana Capeta and Fatima Pinto.
The loss leaves Scotland with no wins against the two teams above them in Qualifying Group E – Finland and Portugal.
Interim Head Coach, Stuart McLaren, told BBC Scotland: “We battered them 0-2 didn’t we? One of the key points for us was to dominate possession but to have a purpose to it.
“I think the players did that very well. We tried to get round the side of them or create opening and again I thought we did that well. But it was reflective of the campaign that we just didn’t have that finishing product often enough in the final third.
“I haven’t had any contact with the players yet. Knowing as I’ve got to know them over the past 10 days I know they’ll be devastated. They’ll be honest that they’ll understand how well they’ve played without being effective in the most important part of game, scoring goals, and the mistakes we’ve made that led to the goals for Portugal.
“The performance reflects what the team is capable of, they’re a threat against anyone at this kind of level, but they have to have conviction to finish off that good play.”
A much-changed Scotland side started the better of the two sides, with early opportunities for Erin Cuthbert and Martha Thomas, but were made to rue these missed chances when Portugal took the lead courtesy of a mistake from goalkeeper Jenna Fife.
The second-half brought more frustration for Scotland, who huffed and puffed but couldn’t break through a stubborn Portugal defence.
Portugal poured salt into Scotland’s wounds in added time with a well taken goal from fatima Pinto.
This game puts an end to a campaign of ‘what if’s’ for the SWNT.
BBC Scotland pundit, and current Glasgow City player Leanne Crichton suggests that it has taken too long to get a permanent manager in: “I’m pretty sure they knew Shelley Kerr was leaving her role. For me it’s already taken a wee bit too long. Of course they should have been more pro-active.
“Regardless of the pandemic or anything that’s went on. These are decisions that need to be put in quite quickly.“
Featured Image: PA