Scotland survived a wonderful goal from Deyna Castellanos to beat Venezuela in their first full international since their World Cup play-off loss to Ireland.
Headed goals from Kelly Clark and Claire Emslie gave Pedro Martinez Losa’s side a deserved half-time lead.
But Castellanos caught Scotland goalkeeper Jenna Fife with a lob all the way from near the halfway line.
Venezuela got the Scots rolling, but they recovered to look to win.
Scotland’s fourth win in six rounds sent Venezuela, 27 places below the Scots in 52nd place in the world rankings, to a fifth straight defeat.
The South Americans on Thursday had lost 3-1 to Panama, who the Scots defeated 2-0 two days later in what had been downgraded to an under-23 international.
Only Chelsea playmaker Erin Cuthbert was asked to start again in a team that showed four changes from last month’s defeat to the Irish at Hampden, as both sides looked to put behind them the disappointment of missing out on next year’s World Cup finals.
While the Scots started tentatively in Cadiz, Venezuela looked comfortable on the ball as they denied a side that lost a fifth-placed South American play-off to Chile that would have taken them to the intercontinental play-offs.
But as the Scots began to dominate, they looked to have taken the lead when Fiona Brown rose to meet a cross from Emslie – but as the ball trickled over the line as it came off a group of bodies, the referee adjudged a foul. on Nayluisa Caceres when it looked like the goalkeeper had actually collided with his own defenders.
It was one of the few chances created despite a wealth of possession until Celtic full-back Clark headed home Caroline Weir’s corner at the near post after 36 minutes.
Scotland extended their lead within another four minutes when Rosengard’s Brown cut into her marker and found unmarked winger Emslie who powerfully headed home from 12 yards.
It looked like a routine win was in the offing – until Castellanos showed the class of a player who made the opposite journey to Scotland’s Weir this summer, from Real Madrid to Manchester City.
Shortly after Gabriela Garcia had her joy cut short by an offside flag, her strike partner saw Fife drift to the edge of his penalty box and fire a shot over the goalkeeper’s head from just inside Scotland’s half.
After looking ragged and rattled, Scotland rallied to threaten again at the other end, but substitute striker Kirsty Hanson’s knifed effort against the outside of a post was the closest they came to making the goal line more comfortable.
Scotland head coach Pedro Martinez Losa: “We had two good performances in two days with different players. It’s important that we maintain the standard regardless of who plays and it was very important to give opportunities to some young players.
“They sent a message that we’re still alive, we’re here, we’re still moving forward. Besides the pain we still feel and will feel for a long time, we’re willing to put in the work to make sure we do that” don’t miss the next opportunity.”
- 6ClarkSubstituted forHowardon 88′minutes
- 22CuthbertSubstituted forArthuron 70′minutes
- 7BrownSubstituted forHayon 70′minutes
- 9DamSubstituted forMcAllisteron 84′minutes
- 18EmslieSubstituted forDavidsonon 88′minutes
- 20ThomasSubstituted forHansonon 70′minutesBooked in 90 minutes
- 5GimenezBooked in 31 min
- 8MartinezSubstituted forAstudilloon 85′minutes
- 20RodríguezSubstituted forFraizeon 90′minutes
- 11CarrascoBooked in 43 min
- 18WiselySubstituted forVillamizaron 78′minutes
- 21Sand oval
- Zulema González González
Match ends, Scotland 2, Venezuela Women 1.
Second half ends, Scotland 2, Venezuela Women 1.
Kirsty Hanson (Scotland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Kirsty Hanson (Scotland).
Yenifer Giménez (Venezuela Women) wins a free kick in their own half.
Ugly by Rebecca McAllister (Scotland).
Michelle Romero (Venezuela Women) wins a free kick in their own half.
Corner, Scotland. Developed by Verónica Herrera.
Attempt blocked. Nicola Docherty (Scotland) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lauren Davidson.
Exchange, Venezuela women. Ana Fraiz replaces Dayana Rodríguez.
Byte, Scotland. Lauren Davidson replaces Claire Emslie.
Byte, Scotland. Sophie Howard replaces Kelly Clark.
Attempt missed. Kirsty Hanson (Scotland) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Nicola Docherty.
Exchange, Venezuela women. Maikerlin Astudillo replaces Barbara Martinez due to an injury.
Byte, Scotland. Rebecca McAllister replaces Caroline Weir.
Chloe Arthur (Scotland) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Ugly by Paola Villamizar (Venezuela Women).
Foul by Kirsty Hanson (Scotland).
Verónica Herrera (Venezuela Women) wins a free kick in their own half.
Attempt saved. Caroline Weir (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kirsty Hanson.
#Scots #beat #Venezuela #Castellanos #stun