Scotland’s women signed off their pre-World Cup campaign in style with a 3-2 win over Jamaica in front of a record crowd at Hampden Park.
The record for a Scotland women’s international, previously 4,098 set last year against Switzerland, was smashed at the national stadium, with 18,555 in attendance to give the Scots the perfect send-off ahead of the World Cup.
Khadija Shaw got the first of her two goals after a quarter of an hour to put Jamaica in front, before Erin Cuthbert and Caroline Weir spectacularly put the hosts in front.
A breakaway second for Shaw just after half-time restored parity again but Howard ensured Scotland headed to France on a victorious note.
The surviving members of Scotland’s first women’s international – against England in 1972 – were presented with an international cap and commemorative crystal before the game by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Rose Reilly, Jean Stewart, Linda Kidd, Jane Legget, Margaret McAuley-Rae, and former manager Elsie Cook were all recognised on the touchline at Hampden Park before kick-off,
Aberdeen’s Rachel Corsie captained Scotland, with Kim Little – from Mintlaw – starting as part of a midfield three for Kerr’s side.
After a promising opening burst, with Claire Emslie making headway down the left, Scotland went behind 15 minutes in.
Jen Beattie’s well-timed tackle on Havana Solaun just outside the box did not break for a pink jersey, instead landing at the feet of Khadija Shaw. She shifted the ball on to her left foot and beat Lee Alexander superbly from 20 yards.
Scotland are nothing if not resilient and looked to respond immediately. Erin Cuthbert’s corner broke to Caroline Weir in the box and although her hit may have been in hope more than expectation, skipper Konya Plummer’s deflection nearly made it a profitable one.
Weir was encouraged to shoot from 25 yards and duly did so, worrying Sydney Schneider in the Jamaica goal with a wobbling effort that the stopper struggled to deal with. Cuthbert’s volley on the turn had her scrambling towards her near post as Scotland moved into the ascendancy.
The pay-off came with half-an-hour on the clock as Chelsea midfielder Cuthbert – afforded the freedom of the Jamaica half – strode forward and shot from 30 yards. The ball flew away from Schneider in the air and nestled in the top corner, leaving the goalkeeper clutching thin air.
Little more than five minutes later and the quick turnaround was complete. Cuthbert was chopped down on the edge of the box and Weir stepped up, curling a delightful left-footer into the top corner.
While Jamaica’s first goal had a touch of misfortune about it for Scotland, their equaliser was of the home side’s own doing as half-time substitute Sophie Howard was caught in possession by Shaw, who raced clear to clip over Alexander.
A penalty shout was turned down, with Lisa Evans feeling her cross was blocked by Deneisha Blackwood’s arm, but Howard had her redemption, peeling away at the back post to head Weir’s corner back across goal into the net.
Despite a raft of second-half substitutions, the party atmosphere inside Hampden remained as Kerr and the Scottish women depart for their first World Cup on a high.