Pabellón de la Ciudad del Fútbol 1 - Madrid 24/10/2012 - 18:00CET (18:00 local time)
Play-off for Final Tournament, Second leg
|1||Tirapu (GK)||1||Fay (GK) (C)|
|13||Pons (GK)||12||Lynn (GK)|
|Ignacio Quereda (ESP)||Anna Signeul (SWE)|
|Bibiana Steinhaus (GER)|
Spain forward Verónica Boquete recovered from an extra-time penalty miss to fire Spain into their second UEFA European Women's Championship at the expense of Scotland following an absorbing UEFA Women's EURO 2013 play-off second leg at the Pabellón de la Ciudad del Fútbol in Madrid.
The visitors – defeated by Russia at this stage four years ago – forged ahead tonight through Emma Mitchell's second-half opener. Scorer of the Spanish equaliser in Saturday's 1-1 draw in Glasgow, Adriana again restored parity with a fine strike, yet Kim Little's extra-time goal looked to have settled matters despite Silvia Meseguer equalising again. Gemma Fay subsequently stopped Boquete's spot kick, only for the No9 to gain a 122nd-minute reprieve and send Spain through.
Under teeming rain at Las Rozas, Anna Signeul's Scotland side showed urgency in the first half and went close when attacker Jennifer Beattie dragged a shot from the right narrowly wide. Beattie was involved again soon after, her cross finding the head of Rhonda Jones whose effort towards the corner was expertly fielded by home goalkeeper Ainhoa Tirapu.
According to coach Ignacio Quereda, Spain's failure to qualify for the finals since their first appearance in 1997 was their motivation going into the second leg. His team would have taken an important step towards achieving their target had Scotland keeper Fay not denied the onrushing Adriana whose attempt was parried from danger by the Scotland No1 towards the end of the opening period.
Scotland, meanwhile, were seeking to make their first Women's EURO appearance and were finally rewarded with a 62nd-minute breakthrough when Jane Ross jinked down the right before flighting a cross to the far post where Mitchell slid in to send a shot high into the roof of the net.
Spurred on by the home support, Spain regrouped and struck an excellent 74th-minute equaliser. Adriana – who had missed a first-leg penalty – accepted a pass from Boquete before angling towards the area and picking her spot beyond Fay's reach at the far post.
This closest of contests then appeared to have been decided in extra time as Little burst through on the left before finding the tightest of angles to thread the ball past Ainhoa and in off the upright. That was with 98 minutes on the clock, yet Spain were far from finished. After Miriam Diéguez fed Meseguer to blast home from distance, the stage was set for a dramatic finale. Boquete missed from the spot before finding the net with the last kick of the game.
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