Simpson brace lifts Scotland

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Rhona Simpson scored both goals in a 2-0 win over Canada here yesterday to keep Scotland's hopes of women's World Cup qualification alive.

Scotland will now play India while Ireland meet Lithuania in a race for the final two automatic qualifier berths for next year's tournament in Perth. The losing teams will then play each other with the victor of that game having to face the United States, who withdrew from the tournament following the terrorist activities, in a three-match play-off for the final qualifying place.

The Scots started strongly against the Canadians with intelligent front running from Simpson, Sue MacDonald and Helen Grant, with Simpson taking on the Canadian defence in the 10th minute to open the scoring from the edge of the circle.

Scotland pushed forward after the break only to be met with resolute defending from Canada.

Simpson finally converted a 57th-minute penalty to extend their lead but the two-goal cushion saw the Scots taking their foot off the pedal when they really needed to press it to the floor. A further goal would have put them ahead of Lithuania with the prospect of a slightly easier game against Ireland instead of India.

England will play Japan in the first semi-final with Russia meeting Ukraine in the second.