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Beattie spells out Scotland dream

Scotland missed out on the 2009 finals with an away-goals play-off defeat but Jennifer Beattie hopes they can realise their dream when Spain visit Hampden for the first leg on Saturday.

Beattie spells out Scotland dream
Beattie spells out Scotland dream ©uefa.com 1998-2012. All rights reserved.

Four years on from missing out on the UEFA European Women's Championship finals by the narrowest of margins, Scotland are back in the play-offs against Spain and could not have a better incentive to perform in Saturday's home leg.

For the first time the Scotland women's team will step out at Glasgow's Hampden Park, with free entry to the national stadium to encourage a big crowd to aid the home side to get a good result to take to Spain next Wednesday. And having only lost out on a finals debut in 2009 on away goals to Russia, the versatile Jennifer Beattie is determined they will make it right and reach UEFA Women's EURO 2013 next July in Sweden.

"It's a massive game for the girls, none of us have ever got to a finals before," Beattie told UEFA.com. "It will be a dream come true. And to play it at Hampden as well, most of the girls have never done that either so we're really looking forward to it."

Scotland's sole previous meetings with Spain were also in a play-off – losing 3-0 at home and 4-1 away in a two-legged 1998 tie under the old international promotion and relegation system. "Our manager said recently it is one of the teams we know least about," Beattie admitted. "But they'll have done a lot of research into them so hopefully we can go into [the games] with our experienced players and do well."

One experience many of the Scottish players had was their loss to Russia last time around, a 3-2 home defeat the key despite Beattie scoring in a 2-1 away win. "To go out on away goals last time was pretty heartbreaking," said the 21-year-old Arsenal LFC player, who has been deployed in defence, midfield and attack in her international career. "So if we can get a good result in the first leg and then we can bring it back and get through, that would be amazing."

To advance to this stage, Scotland had to negotiate a tough qualifying Group 4, seeing off the Republic of Ireland and a surprisingly strong challenge from Wales to finish second, though ending eight points behind France having lost their last match 5-0 at home to Les Bleues. That game, though, could benefit Scotland, Beattie believes.

"Playing against the likes of France home and away can only put you in good stead for playing against better players," she said. "So hopefully we can take that into the Spain game. We're just looking forward to it and hopefully we can get a good result."

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