Scotland Women dropped points for the first time in their World Cup qualifying campaign, fighting back to draw 1-1 with Ukraine at Hampden Park.
After a series of early Ukraine chances, a simple through pass from Anna Petryk in the 22nd minute left Scotland’s backline exposed and with Jennifer Beattie unable to match the pace of the Roksolana Kravchuk, the forward slotted the ball beyond Lee Alexander to make it 1-0.
Like last month’s win against Hungary, Scotland left it late again and equalised in the 93rd minute with a superb header from Bristol City’s Abi Harrison.
Harrison, who had been a late addition to the Scotland squad, applied the finishing touch to Lana Clelland’s delivery deep into injury time.
It had been a bright start for Scotland driving into the final third with early attempts to threaten Ukraine’s defence, with AC Milan forward Christy Grimshaw and West Ham’s Lisa Evans doing well up the flanks to get the ball in the Ukrainian box.
However, Ukraine didn’t take long to make their first foray forward with Ohla Ovdiychuk latching onto Rachael Boyle’s miskick, but the Ukrainian forward sliced it well wide.
The Ukrainians continued to have the better chances with Scotland punished for poor passes and lapses of concentration as Veronika Andrukhiv and Kravchuk were gifted decent opportunities.
Ukraine reaped their reward with the opening goal in the 22nd minute, but the poor defending which led to the Scots conceding, would have left Pedro Martinez Losa reeling.
Scotland reacted well after conceding Ukraine’s opener with the best chance falling to Harrison, making her competitive debut for Scotland, but she couldn’t make the most of being one-on-one with the goalkeeper and forced a reasonably comfortable save in the end from Daryna Bondarchuk.
Harrison had another good chance just before the break, but her glancing header finished wide of the post and Scotland went into the second half 1-0 down.
Scotland creating all the chances
For the first time under Martinez Losa’s stewardship, Scotland would have to come from behind if they were to take anything from the game.
Scotland came out with intent in the second half with Evans doing well up the right wing with a clever turn before driving forward and cutting the ball back to Erin Cuthbert, but the Chelsea forward couldn’t get on the end of it.
Cuthbert looked to be in an another decent position, but she couldn’t get her outstretched leg to make contact with the ball after Grimshaw squared it into the box having linked up well with Caroline Weir on the left.
Weir had the best chance of the second half striking the ball sweetly from distance, but a diving Bondarchuk did well to prevent the ball crashing into the top corner.
In a rare second half Ukraine attack, history looked to be repeating itself with a pass similar to the one that led to the first goal played forward again splitting Scotland’s defence, but second half substitute Sophie Howard did well to intercept the attack.
TADHAL DO @ScotlandNT!!!
— BBC ALBA (@bbcalba) November 26, 2021
With Scotland pushing for a goal, Harrison put her misses in the first half right by finding Scotland’s all important equaliser deep into injury time, scoring her first goal for the national side.
Speaking to the BBC after the game, Cuthbert said: “We know we can do a lot better, that’s not what we’ve been working in training.
“We created so many chances but we have to do better in the final third. We’re disappointed, it’s a game we should be winning, but we’ve got Tuesday (away to Spain) to put it right.
“We’re still unbeaten, and I think if any Scotland team is unbeaten in their qualifying group they’re doing a pretty job so far. So I think there needs to be a bit of perspective a little bit.
“Yes we can do better, we will do better, but focus turns to Tuesday, we’re unbeaten again at Hampden, lets start making this our fortress.”
The draw keeps Scotland comfortably in second place, but leaves Martinez Losa’s side two points behind leaders Spain ahead of their clash in Seville on Tuesday.