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Scotland shine in stalemate with Spain

Scotland 0-0 Spain
Scotland earned their first point at Under-17 level as both teams remained in the hunt for a semi-final place.

Scotland shine in stalemate with Spain
Scotland shine in stalemate with Spain ©UEFA.com

Scotland earned their first-ever point at the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship by holding two-time winners Spain to a goalless draw in Burton.

It was an impressive performance by Scotland who might even have nicked victory during an exciting second half although the biggest beneficiaries of the stalemate were Germany, the Group B leaders, whose qualification was confirmed by this result. Jorge Vilda's Spain are second in the group on four points while Scotland have one – and, with it, a faint chance of qualifying.

Scotland were 3-0 down at half-time in their opening defeat against Germany but this time, wiser for that experience, they matched their fancied opponents from the start. Save for one early moment of worry when Aitana Bonmati failed to connect cleanly with Pilar Garrote's cross, Pauline Hamill's side succeeded largely in containing the Spanish threat and when Nahikari García did find a path to goal, she found it blocked by Rebecca Flaherty.

In the 25th minute the Añorga KKE forward pounced on a loose ball in the box but Flaherty got down well and saved. On the stroke of half-time, García tried again but Flaherty dived low to turn the shot behind and she did even better nine minutes after the restart to tip over Silvia Mérida's header.

Hamill responded with a double substitution of Chelsea Cornet and Kirsty Howat for Sarah Robertson and Lia Tweedie after 58 minutes and moments later Scotland so nearly had a goal. Alyshia Walker played in Erin Cuthbert and, though her first shot was blocked, she pounced on the rebound only to fire against the post with the goal gaping. Although Patricia Guijarro nodded over from an Andrea Sánchez corner, Scottish tails were up. There was even a chorus of 'Flower of Scotland' from their supporters as Hamill's team went for the win.

Walker volleyed over, Cuthbert turned and shot at Elena De Toro and then Carla Jackson broke clear down the left but De Toro made the save. There was almost a sting in the tail at the other end as García turned and shot but Flaherty foiled her for one final time.