Scotland’s chances of progressing out of their group at Euro 2017 were dealt another blow as they lost 2-1 to Portugal in Rotterdam.
Teenage substitute Erin Cuthbert briefly gave Scotland hope by scoring her country’s first goal at a major tournament to cancel out Trindade Coruche Mendes’ first-half opener, but Portugal regained the lead through Ana Leita four minutes later.
Scotland, thrashed 6-0 by England in their first Group D game on Wednesday, almost equalised again in the closing stages, but Caroline Weir’s shot hit the post with five minutes left.
Striker Lana Clelland should have given Scotland a deserved 17th-minute lead, but squandered a golden chance after Weir’s low shot had been parried by Portugal goalkeeper Sousa Barros Morais.
Clelland mis-kicked the rebound with the goal at her mercy five yards out and, after scrambling to get another shot away, Barros Morais pushed the ball onto the post.
The unmarked Clelland mis-controlled again inside the penalty area in the 25th minute following Fiona Brown’s cross to the far post. It was another costly miss.
Portugal, the second lowest-ranked team in the tournament, were gifted the lead against the run of play two minutes later, courtesy of a defensive mistake and with their first attempt on goal.
Abreu Sousa Silva pounced on a misplaced pass inside her own half and her deflected cross caught Vaila Barsley flat-footed.
The Scotland centre-half missed the ball with her attempted clearance and Mendes stole in to turn the ball home from six yards.
Portugal grew in confidence and looked the more accomplished side at the start of the second half without creating any clear-cut chances.
Leanne Crichton blazed off target for Scotland after substitute Cuthbert’s neat turn and cross and Brown’s left-wing cross was well-gathered by Barros Morais.
Cuthbert’s introduction had given Scotland a lift and she linked brilliantly with Brown inside the penalty area before firing them level with a low right-footed shot inside the far post in the 68th minute.
But Scotland were undone again four minutes later. Leita raced on to a flick-on straight from a goal-kick and held off Barsley’s challenge to slide a left-footed finish beneath goalkeeper Gemma Fay from just inside the area.
Scotland went down fighting. Weir smashed a left-footed shot against a post with five minutes left, but they were left to rue missed first-half chances.Euro Soccer Bonus
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