The story behind Scotland Women’s World Cup qualification

first_imgVictory set up a decisive return fixture against the Swiss at home, with Scotland knowing three points were required to put themselves in pole position.Kerr’s team stormed out of the blocks, scoring through Erin Cuthbert and Kim Little within five minutes of play, before holding out for a crucial 2-1 win.Little would hit the net again early in Albania, before Jane Ross doubled the Scots’ advantage as qualification was confirmed.Success: Shelley Kerr has guided the Scots to the World Cup finals. SNSShelley Kerr has made history by leading the Scots to the World Cup in her first qualification campaign in charge.No stranger to breaking down barriers, Kerr became the first female manager in British men’s football when she took charge of the Stirling University men’s first team in 2014 – the post she left for national duties.The 48-year-old switched to coaching men’s football after a successful period leading Arsenal Ladies, where she won the FA Women’s Cup two seasons in a row.Capped 59 times by her country, Kerr turned out for Kilmarnock, Hibs and Spartans across her playing career.Key: Kim Little is an instrumental figure for the Scots. SNSArsenal playmaker Kim Little is a star for club and country.The 28-year-old scored crucial goals for the Scots in qualifying, including strikes against Switzerland and Albania in the decisive last two matches.Capped over 120 times for Scotland, Little is recognised amongst the female game’s top players, with American legend Hope Solo labelling her as “the best in the world”.The attacking midfielder has won a host of trophies with Arsenal across two spells with the Gunners, and has received a series of individual honours – including FA Women’s Player of the Year in 2010 and BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year in 2016.While Little has long been amongst the Scots’ key players, forward Erin Cuthbert grew into a starring role across qualifying.The 20-year-old hit important goals against Switzerland and Poland and a decisive double against Belarus as Kerr’s outfit recovered from an early setback to book their finals spot.At club level, Cuthbert is an important cog in the Chelsea machine, with the Blues doing the double in 2017/18.All eyes will now turn towards France. The Scots are one of 15 teams to have already confirmed their place – the hosts, England, Brazil and Spain are amongst the others to have achieved qualification.Scotland will learn their fate on December 8 when the groups are drawn near Paris. Scotland Women have made history by qualifying for their first ever World Cup.Shelley Kerr’s side defeated Albania to book their spot in France next summer.Here we look at the story behind the Scots’ success and preview what to expect at the 2019 finals.Celebration: Scotland’s win over Switzerland paved the way to qualification. SNSVictory over Albania may have confirmed qualification, but it was a win over Switzerland in the penultimate fixture which paved the way for the Scots. A 1-0 loss in Schaffhausen back in April had left Kerr’s side with ground to make up in qualifying.They would bounce back quickly, though, to keep their qualification hopes alive thanks to three wins on the trot.Three late goals put Poland to the sword in Paisley, before the Scots came from behind to defeat Belarus.Qualification dreams looked set to be dashed in Kielce as the Poles stormed into a 2-0 lead, but Scotland fought back to win a thriller thanks to another hat-trick of late strikes.last_img read more

Learn more →