Scotland strike six for play-off berth

Scotland 6-0 Slovakia
Scotland are through to the qualifying play-offs after striking six without reply against Slovakia, including two for Julie Fleeting.

Pauline Hamill (right) celebrates scoring with Joanne Love and Julie Fleeting
Pauline Hamill (right) celebrates scoring with Joanne Love and Julie Fleeting ©SFA

Victory enough
Although a draw would have been enough for Scotland to ensure a top-three finish in Group 5, only a victory would have ensured their record was good enough to earn a two-legged tie next month as one of the four third-placed teams with the best record against the top quartet in their section across the six pools. And three goals in each half ensured Scotland will be drawn against one of the group runners-up on 6 October.

Fleeting double
Jennifer Beattie put Scotland into a 25th-minute lead when her cross evaded the head of Kim Little but sailed past Slovakia goalkeeper Lenka Gazdíková. Despite a good response from the visitors, just past the half-hour Julie Fleeting headed a second goal following good work from Little and Leanne Ross. Pauline Hamill's lob over Gazdíková made it 3-0 at the break after she latched on to a Michelle Kerr clearance. Not long after half-time Kim Little added to the scoreline with a low shot, fine reward for a busy performance in midfield. A Little free-kick was turned in by Fleeting and substitute Suzanne Grant completed the scoring late on.

'Over the moon'
Scotland manager Anna Signeul said: "We've made a bit of history today and the players and everyone associated with the team are over the moon. If we work as hard as we did today I think we have a good chance against anyone we might face in the play-offs." While Scotland can now look ahead to a possible debut in a senior women's finals, Slovakia have the consolation that their six-point tally is the highest of any of the five sides who progressed from the preliminary round to main qualifying.