Scotland vs. Austria
After the result of Pool B game the played earlier in the afternoon, both Scotland and Austria have now qualified for the Semi Finals. This game is to decide who finishes in first and second and therefore to get the (supposedly) easier game next. The Scots, who are playing in their alternate pink vest tops, have won both of their games so far and are currently in first place. The Austrians, wearing white, with a black trim, have had a win and a draw. A win for them will see them leap frog the hosts. After seven minutes Scotland draws first blood. Rebecca Condie works the ball up the right wing. Jennifer Eadie picks it up in the circle, takes the shot and finds the back of the net. The hosts are up one goal to nil.
Fiona Semple goes close a minute after Eadie’s opener, but sends it just wide. Shortly, after this, Scotland have three shots in succession, two rebounds after hitting the post, but can’t capitalise. In the ninth minute, a long pass into the circle, from midfield is kicked by the Austrian keeper, Karin Stiefelmeyer. Scotland try and score from the rebound, but can’t succeed. They maintain possession though and do get a shot away that is buried into the bottom corner. It has to go down as a goalkeeping error. At the end of the first quarter; Austria. 2 – 0 Scotland.
Within a minute of the restart the Scots get the first short corner of the game. It’s sent wide of the right hand post and deflected, but the ball hits Corinna Zerbs’s body on the goal line and the Austrian captain has given away a penalty stroke. Kate Holmes steps up to take it and sends the keeper the wrong way to extend her team’s lead.
The Scots are peppering the Austrian goal. To be fair to the keeper, she’s kept a lot out and is making up for her previous error. Most of the play has been in the Austrian half and Scotland have had a significantly higher amount of shots. With 30 seconds left of the half Louise Campbell picks the ball up and finds Sarah Robertson in space inside the circle. She shoots, but the goalie makes another save. Scotland attack again and with two seconds on the clock they get another roll of the dice with a short corner. Conde and Campbell play a one two, but Stiefelmeyer and the Austrian defence manage to slow them down and prevent any further goals. The half ends and the score is Scotland 3 – 0 Austria.
Scotland push back for the second half. Charlotte Watson has been terrifying the Austrian full backs today. She’s fast and gets herself into good attacking positions when on the ball. Jennifer Eadie wins Scotland a short corner after hitting the left baseline and sending it across the line. The ball has hit an Austrian foot and the Scots will get a chance at goal. There’s a bit of it bouncing around and the Austrians get the free hit. The Austrians have been sitting very deep and Scotland are creeping further and further forward, playing the ball around, probing, testing, etc… Rebecca Condie is playing sweeper and she’s nearly at the three quarter line. In the seventh minute the Scots get a short corner again. The Austrians defence force the them to their weak side and the shot goes high and wide. The game has lost it’s zip in the third period. The Austrians seem to be working damage control and when the Scots do get past the 11 players behind the ball, they can’t find the angles to score. The score remains the same; 3 – 0 at the final break.
The fourth quarter is much the same as the third. Scotland and Austria are playing as described above. Just over nine minutes into the period Scotland get the first short corner since the restart. The shot is sent straight at the goalkeeper, number 31 Stella van Rahden who has come on for Stiefelmeyer, and Austria get the ball away. A little over a minute later they get another. An Austrian commit a foul in the first phase of play and there is a re-award. The shot from Kareena Cuthbert is saved. There’s a wild swing from a Scottish forward for the rebound, Amelie Malik takes a whack and has to go off. As I approach the bench I see that her left hand is in a bucket of ice. With four minutes of the match left, Nikki Cochrane is taken off in order for the Scots to have elven outfield players. I can’t think of a shot in anger being taken by the Austrians, so it’s easy to understand why the Scots feel they can make do with a sweeper. The game ends without any further goals. The final score is Scotland 3 – 0 Austria.