Scotland 0-1 Canada: Late penalty hands Shelley Kerr’s side Algarve Cup defeat
Scotland need to learn to score against higher-ranked teams, says head coach Shelley Kerr after they drew a blank in their Algarve Cup opener with Canada.
An 80th-minute Christine Sinclair penalty – awarded after Chloe Arthur brought down Ashley Lawrence – dashed Scotland’s hopes of earning a draw.
Canada, ranked fifth in the world, were dominant but found goalkeeper Lee Alexander in defiant form.
“When you play tough opponents, you have to take your chances,” Kerr said.
“I was really pleased tactically how the team performed and let’s not forget they’re ranked 15 places above us. But we just need to get over that final hurdle.
“It’s all very well tactically to set up to defend and win the ball back and keep possession but we also need to score against teams higher ranked than us.
“But certainly it’s a work in progress and there’s real evidence that we are a team who are growing and maturing all the time.”
Alexander shines for Scots
Alexander kept Scotland in the game at times, most notably saving brilliantly twice towards the end of the first half.
First she stayed big to narrow the angles on Jordyn Huitema before saving well with her left foot. Then she showed terrific reactions at her near post to push a Kadeisha Buchanan effort away for a corner.
“Sometimes you don’t have much to do in a game but when she’s asked to do something she did it really, really well,” added Kerr.
Scotland could have snatched a draw at the death, Rachel Corsie poking wide from a Caroline Weir free-kick.
Otherwise, they rarely troubled Erin McLeod in the opposition goal, though the keeper did have to rush out to block from Claire Emslie early on.
Erin Cuthbert’s audacious attempt from long distance flew just over but Corsie’s late chance was Scotland’s best of the match.
It had looked as though Scotland would hold on for a creditable draw, but Arthur dragged Lawrence to the ground to hand the Canadians the opportunity for victory.
The result, which followed Canada’s goalless draw against Iceland, means Scotland need to beat Iceland on Monday to avoid finishing bottom of their mini-group.
Sinclair ‘one of best in world’
Scotland goalkeeper Alexander felt Scotland dealt well with Canada’s record goalscorer Sinclair.
“She’s played a numerous amount of international games and her goal record talks for herself – it’s ridiculous how many goals she’s scored,” said Alexander.
“That’s who you want to play against, the top teams and the top strikers in the world. It sets the mark to see where we are at so it is great preparation for us.”