With the FIFA Women’s World Cup on the horizon, teams are gearing up for action in the international break by entering multiple tournaments. Scotland, while being out of the World Cup, participated in the Pinatar Cup, facing the likes of Iceland, Philippines and Wales during the break. They kicked-off the current international break with a game against Iceland.
Scotland lined up in a 4-2-3-1 with Real Madrid’s Caroline Weir reprising the free role from the #10 position, flanked on either side by Claire Emslie and Brogan Hay. Chelsea’s Erin Cuthbert partnered Rangers’ Sam Kerr in the midfield double pivot. Iceland on the other hand were in a 4-3-3, with Wolfsburg’s Sveindis Jonsdottir playing on the right wing.
The game began with both teams trying the find their footing in the game. There were a lot of cheap giveaways and both teams lacked any form of control in the opening 10 minutes. Scotland gained a strong footing as the game progressed and started seeing more of the ball. They managed to suffocate Iceland during their buildup phase and create multiple high turnovers.
Caroline Weir was particularly integral in this as she pressed really well and won the ball back multiple times just around the edge of the penalty box. She was given the license to roam laterally and be the creative linchpin of the team. She was able to create multiple shooting opportunities and played some beautiful crosses, but Scotland failed to capitalize on that dominant period on the ball in the first half. Scotland registered 12 shots in the first half compared to Iceland’s one and dominated 60% of the possession. Their high press stifled Iceland’s buildup resulting in a passing accuracy of just 66% in the first half.
The second half began with a momentum swing and Iceland started the half brightly. They quickly made the slight domination count by scoring twice in quick succession. The 19-year-old Ólöf Sigríður Kristinsdóttir struck twice within two minutes and put Iceland in the lead against Scotland, inside the opening six minutes of the second half. The goals resulted from lapse of concentration at the back and extremely cheap giveaways.
The two goals completely rattled Scotland and they lost any grip they had on the game. Iceland were able to generate more threat and shots despite not keeping hold of the ball. In the 58th minute, Caroline Weir was subbed off for Christie Murray.
Scotland struggled to deal with Iceland’s aggression and ended up conceding shots on the regular. The substitutions weren’t able to change the game and they began their Pinatar Cup with a 2-0 loss to Iceland.