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Dempster ensures Scotland exit on a high

Published: Sunday 30 May 2010, 18.45CET
Italy 3-3 Scotland
Two eliminated teams played out a thrilling draw in their final Group A game, Rebecca Dempster starring in a second-half Scotland fightback.
by Wayne Harrison
from Boris Trajkovski Stadium
Dempster ensures Scotland exit on a high
Rebecca Dempster (No11) is congratulated by Sarah Ewens (No9) and Claire Emslie ©FFM
Published: Sunday 30 May 2010, 18.45CET

Dempster ensures Scotland exit on a high

Italy 3-3 Scotland
Two eliminated teams played out a thrilling draw in their final Group A game, Rebecca Dempster starring in a second-half Scotland fightback.

Two second-half goals from Rebecca Dempster earned Scotland their maiden point in a UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship final tournament as Shelley Kerr's team recovered from 3-1 down to salvage a draw.

Scotland lost all three of their matches in their previous two finals appearances – in 2004/05 and 2007/08 – and looked headed for the same fate when Italy established a 3-1 lead at the break through Barbara Bonansea, centre-back Michela Franco and Francesca Vitale. Dempster's strike partner, Sarah Ewens, had briefly drawn her side level but after the interval it was the Forfar Farmington LFC striker who came to the fore, taking her tally for the 2009/10 edition to ten with efforts on 64 and 73 minutes.

Italy, also out of contention having been defeated in their opening two Group A matches, profited from Rachael Small's bid to end a spell of Azzurrine keep ball in the corner. Her challenge merely resulted in the ball breaking to Martina Rosucci, who calmly teed up Bonansea for the opener on 17 minutes.

Scotland swiftly replied with Ewens neatly swivelling in the area and firing inside the near post of Chiara Valzolgher. However, no sooner was parity restored than they fell behind once more, Franco perfectly meeting Marta Mason's left-wing corner. A fourth goal of a frantic 12-minute spell arrived just before the half-hour mark, again Kerr's charges exposed by a ball into the area as Mason headed Bonansea's corner on to the post and Vitale tucked away the rebound.

While the first half belonged to the Azzurrine, the second period was very much Scotland's, their fightback coinciding with the introduction of the lively Claire Emslie. Their spirits were raised when Elisa Bartoli's under-hit back pass let in Dempster, who waltzed around Valzolgher and rolled the ball into the empty net. They drew level 16 minutes from time through the No11's neat finish from Lisa Robertson's left-wing cross.

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