While Rebecca Dempster's parting gift to Scotland at UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship level was two goals against Italy which earned her country their first final tournament point, the striker could yet gain personal reward.
Dempster struck twice in the second period at the Boris Trajkovski Stadium on Sunday as Shelley Kerr's team turned a 3-1 half-time deficit into a 3-3 Group A draw, ensuring Scotland avoided emulating their previous two finals appearances – in 2004/05 and 2007/08 – when they lost all three games.
The match was also the last in this age group for several members of the squad, including Dempster, who will now focus their efforts on trying to break into the senior setup. "It was great to score two goals," she told UEFA.com. "Just getting to the finals is a great achievement for us so to get two goals in the final game I was really chuffed."
If that induced a smile, how would finishing top scorer for the 2009/10 Women's U19 season make her feel? The 19-year-old has an impressive strike rate of better than a goal a game having struck ten times in nine matches since the first qualifying round, two clear of the Netherlands' Ellen Jansen and Bosnia and Herzegovina's Lidija Kuliš on eight.
"I'd be absolutely delighted," she said, having been unaware of her status atop the charts. "
It would be a great personal achievement but I couldn't have done it without my team-mates: the defence and the midfield have to get the ball to me."
Admirable modesty from a player who also struck against Germany on Matchday 2 and hit a hat-trick in a 5-1 defeat of Bulgaria in September. Scoring is simply what she does best according to her coach. "The one thing that Rebecca does is score goals," said Kerr. "
It's very difficult in international football to have a natural goalscorer but she's very good at it, she's got an eye for goal. I'm absolutely delighted for her because as a young girl it's great to play for your country but to score goals is fantastic."
Fittingly, the last word on her and Scotland's journey to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia should go to the Forfar Farmington LFC forward. "We've done brilliant," added Dempster. "We came in as underdogs, outsiders right from the start, and have progressed so well and competed at such a high level. We've definitely improved over the years and done really well."
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