Scotland off the mark with victory over Belgium
Tuesday, 15 July 2014
Belgium 0-2 Scotland
Scorers of 17 goals in qualifying, Caroline Weir and Zoe Ness struck in the first half to set up a historic victory for Scotland.
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Caroline Weir and Zoe Ness continued their fine qualifying form into the finals as Scotland claimed their first ever UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship win.
• Scotland improve on record of eight losses, one draw
• Arsenal's Weir scores first goal of the 2014 finals
• Ness doubles advantage five minutes before half-time
• Scotland coach hails his side for 'creating history'
• Norway draw with Netherlands elsewhere in Group A
Gareth Evans's side scored 38 goals in six qualifiers to reach the finals for the fourth time, and they were as clinical as ever in Strommen. Their two most potent players in getting here did the damage. Weir broke the deadlock on the break on ten minutes and the counterattack bore fruit again before half-time, with Zoe Ness the bombardier as she rifled in Abbi Grant's layoff.
Belgium could only marvel at the killer instinct having squandered a host of chances. Silke Leynen passed up two presentable opportunities to equalise, the second coming just before Ness's strike. Still they came. Tinne De Caigny's long-range effort was deflected just wide, Leynen shot wide on a one-on-one and while Karen Verrydt made excellent connection with a header ten minutes from time, it dropped just wide. It was Scotland's day.
Kristiaan Van Der Haegen, Belgium coach
It was a very strange game for us because we started the game in a perfect manner, with a lot of possession and great scoring chances. When you miss a big chance and then you concede a goal no one was expecting, when you have control of the game … We made a lot of mistakes in defence and when you do that against opponents who scored 38 goals in qualification round that means trouble. Being at a finals is new to us. Now we know that the standard is okay; we just have to learn to be effective.
Gareth Evans, Scotland coach
It was obviously a tough game and Belgium were very good, especially in the second half. We were just trying to win a game at a European Championship, something Scotland have never done before at this level. We've created history and that was one of our objectives. We know we now have a very, very tough game [against the Netherlands]. We're under no illusions. But if we can get the same commitment and desire from the girls we have a chance.