Scotland take giant step towards Euros

Jane Ross

Jane Ross scored two first-half goals for Scotland

Scotland women made it five wins from five and took a giant step towards Euro 2017 with a 3-1 victory over Slovenia at the Paisley 2021 Stadium.

Jane Ross turned and drove a low first-half shot into the corner of the net, but Slovenia were soon level through Kristina Erman’s looping header.

Ross swiftly had Scotland back in front and Kim Little’s penalty made it three.

Scotland are now six points clear of Iceland, who have two games in hand and travel to Belarus on Tuesday.

Scotland took their time to get the measure of the visitors, a defected Ross shot and a Little effort from close range the best they could muster before they opened the scoring.

However, after Slovenia’s Lara Ivanusa shot wide, Ross found the net with a low drive from an identical position just outside the area.

Although Anna Signeul’s Scotland side had scored 24 goals in qualifying prior to the game, they were missing their usual spark up front.

After Lara Prasnikar and Tjasa Tibaut threatened for Slovenia, Erman headed the equaliser when goalkeeper Gemma Fay was caught out of position at a free-kick and could not get back to keep out the looping ball.

Slovenia’s joy did not last long. Hayley Lauder broke through after a neat switch of play from Little, and Ross had the simple task of tapping in the low pass.

Scotland ended the first half in a flurry and within five minutes of the restart doubled their advantage.

Little was adjudged to have been shoved off the ball, and the Seattle Reign midfielder slotted home from the spot.

Slovenia, a constant physical presence, refused to buckle, with Kaja Erzen poking the ball wide from inside the area before firing over a few minutes later.

Ross, looking for her hat-trick, flicked a ball towards the back post but goalkeeper Eva Vamberger managed to tip it wide.

Caroline Weir almost made it four when she raced on to a through ball, but a brilliant last-gasp challenge denied her with just Vamberger to beat.

Little curled a free-kick wide and minutes later cut inside her marker to send a deflected shot wide.

Scotland welcome Iceland in June with qualification for their first major finals all but assured.

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