|EDINBURGH LADIES FOOTBALL CLUB||
Belgium 0 - 3 Scotland (6th. September 2006)
Scotland’s womens'' team continued their recent good run of form when they defeated Belgium by 3 goals to nil in Wavre Stadium in Belgium tonight. Despite making a reasonable start to the game, it was Scotland’s keeper Gemma Fay who made a couple of good saves at the other end to keep her team in the game.
NICKY GRANT put the Scots ahead in 25 minutes from an Amy McDonald free kick.
Leanne Ross and Julie Fleeting linked up well and provided the chance for Grant to stroke the ball into the back of the net from close range.
Scotland consolidated their dominance in this game with the majority of possession and chances created in the second half, and scored their second goal from another set piece, AMY McDONALD capitalising on a Fleeting head flick from a corner.
JULIE FLEETING, having been provider, then created chances for her team mates and capped an outstanding performance by scoring Scotland’s third goal on 79 minutes.
This is the last preparation match Scotland will have before taking on the mighty Germany in September in Perth on 23 September.
Coach Anna Signeul said:
‘We are delighted with this victory, we played very well, despite a relatively sluggish start to the game and playing too deep, at the other end we created some good chances and in some respects we were fortunate to be winning 1-0 at half time.
We completely dominated the second half; it was good to dominate the game, like we did against Switzerland, but also to take some of the chances we created. I am so pleased for the players, they worked hard, but Julie Fleeting and Gemma Fay were exceptional tonight.’
Gemma Fay (Leeds United LFC), Julie Ferguson (Hibernian LFC), Rhonda Jones (Florida Atlantic University), Michelle Kerr (Doncaster Rovers Belles LFC), Leanne Ross (Newburgh LFC), Amy McDonald (FC Kilmarnock), Julie Fleeting (Arsenal LFC), Pauline Hamill (Doncaster Rovers Belles LFC), Joanne Love (Doncaster Rovers Belles LFC), Amanda Burns (Hibernian LFC), Nichola Grant (Doncaster Rovers Belles LFC)
Pamela Liddell (Hamilton Academical LFC), Suzanne Malone (Hamilton Academical LFC), Hollie Thomson (Hamilton Academical LFC), Jayne Sommerville (Glasgow City LFC), Denise Brolly (Florida Atlantic University), Leanne Crichton (Edinburgh Ladies)
FIFA Women's World Ranking
European teams make progress
The latest FIFA Women's World Ranking sees FIFA World Cup holders and reigning European champions Germany remain in pole position ahead of Olympic champions the USA, whose two wins over Japan help to reduce the gap by a quarter.
The most significant gain by any of the high fliers is recorded by Sweden (5th, up 1), who head their FIFA World Cup qualifying group thanks to two recent victories and seem almost to have guaranteed their ticket to next year's FIFA Women's World Cup in China PR. After making their first ever top 5 appearance in the March ranking, France (6th, down 1) are forced to make way for their Scandinavian rivals.
Behind the elite teams, up-and-coming European nations are among the most notable climbers in terms of points and rankings. Finland (16th, no change) take 21 points to close in on Australia, Spain (20th, no change) gain 15 points, while Scotland (27th, up 2) add 34 to their points total. However, even that impressive achievement is overshadowed by the Slovenians (62nd, up 9). who secure 39 points thanks to resounding victories over neighbours Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina to boost their overall position in the ranking.
Lower down the list, Equatorial Guinea, who only made their debut in the ranking in March, have reason to celebrate thanks to a FIFA World Cup qualifier victory that catapults them into the top 100 (89th, up 30).
Now including a record 129 teams, the most since its introduction in July 2003, the ranking is drawn up on the basis of a range of factors including result, home advantage, importance of match and opponents' strength. It appears four times a year. According to the Big Count survey conducted by FIFA in 2001, 22 million women and girls around the world play football.
The next FIFA Women's World Ranking will be published on 15 September 2006.