Scotland Women 1-0 Spain Women

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Erin Cuthbert shows her disappointment at full-time

Scotland fell short as they defeated Spain but missed out on a place in the knockout stages of Euro 2017.

Goalkeeper Gemma Fay pulled off two stunning saves before Caroline Weir drilled Scotland in front.

Scotland needed to win by two goals and their best chance came when Leanne Crichton missed from three yards.

Meseguer Bellido hit the bar for Spain, while Scotland threw everything at them in the final minutes but couldn’t fashion a second.

It was a heartbreaking end to Scotland’s first ever appearance at a major finals, but they restored pride after opening defeats to England and Portugal.

Scotland began the game knowing if they could win by two goals they would qualify for the knock-out stages, providing England defeated Portugal in the other Group D match.

After an impressive performance from the bench against Portugal, Erin Cuthbert was rewarded with a starting place, one of four changes with Leanne Ross, Jo Love and Chloe Arthur all handed a shirt.

It was Scotland’s Fay who was the busier of the two goalkeepers early on, though, as Marta Torrejón and Silvia Meseguer both tested Scotland’s early resolve.

And as the game wore on Spain grew in confidence, with Amanda Sampedro missed the target after Caldentey Oliver squared the ball for her.

Then Fay went from villain to hero. After flapping at a loose ball and conceding a corner, she twice pulled off stunning saves to push away headers from Jenni Hermoso and Irene Parede.

And she almost went back to being the villain when she raced from goal and handled outside the box. As the Spaniards roared for a red card, referee Jana Adamkova did Scotland a huge favour by reaching for just the yellow.

The Scots were hanging on, but against the run of play they took a stunning lead.

Cuthbert raced onto a through ball, but was denied by Spanish goalkeeper Paños García-Villamil.

However, the ball fell for Weir who held off the goalkeeper’s challenge, and fired through the legs of Paredes Hernández who could only help the ball into her own net.

Scotland’s Caroline Weir (right) celebrates the opening goal

Frankie Brown twice denied substitute Mari Paz at the near post with brave challenges to keep Scotland ahead, before Crichton somehow smashed a corner over the bar at the other end.

And the Spanish substitute was continuing to cause problems; bulleting a header into the side netting then drilling a shot wide of the far post minute’s later.

Scotland needed a second goal but they were struggling to keep the Spanish at bay.

Meseguer Bellido was given far too much time and space to pick her spot, and Fay could only watch as her shot cracked off the crossbar.

Paz headed wide from close range, and she again went close when Ifeoma Dieke cleared off the line after Alexia Putellas had been denied by Fay.

A rare Scotland attack saw Lisa Evans forced a save from distance but it always looked comfortable for García-Villamil.

Time was ticking away for Scotland but they were becoming more of a threat. Crichton headed a Weir free-kick over, but that was as close as they could get in a frustrating finish to Anna Signeul’s time as head coach.

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