Scotland 0-1 USA: Shelley Kerr’s side slip to defeat in Paisley

Scotland 0-1 USA: Shelley Kerr’s side slip to defeat in Paisley
Kirsty Smith fouled Mallory Pugh to concede a penalty, but the USA missed the spot kick

Scotland delivered a spirited display against world champions the United States in Paisley, but were unable to avoid a first defeat in six games.

Shelley Kerr’s side performed stoutly against the world’s best, who had won the previous four meetings.

However, slack marking allowed Alex Morgan to volley in a Mallory Pugh cross from the right after 39 minutes.

Pugh won a penalty just after the hour, but Carli Lloyd scudded the spot kick against the bar in front of 3790 fans.

Scotland’s best effort – as they chased an unlikely equaliser – was a Lana Clelland drive that was pushed past a post.

The Scots will now turn their attentions to the World Cup draw on 8 December as they wait to find out who they will face in their debut in the competition.

Composed Scots acquit themselves well

Scotland started boldly. Winger Claire Emslie surprising the visitors as she charged through the American defence to show the Scots were not just here for appearances.

But Morgan’s showed how dangerous the USA can be with a weaving run, only for Pugh to hesitate slightly to spurn an effort at goal.

While the Scots were outplayed at times, they kept their composure and created chances of their own, with a Cuthbert corner nearly finding its way into the net when the USA failed to clear.

Captain Rachel Corsie’s experience of playing in the American top-flight showed alongside Jennifer Beattie at centre back but they could not reach the break unscathed.

Pugh angled in a teasing cross from the right and Orlando Pride’s Morgan had far too much room to calmly side foot in her 98th international goal.

Kerr’s side started the second half in a similarly energetic fashion, but Vittsjo’s Shannon Lynn – and interval replacement for Lee Alexander in goal – had to leap into action to fend off a Julie Ertz low shot.

A slight clip of Pugh’s heels by substitute Kirsty Smith almost gifted the USA a second, but Lloyd struck the cross bar and let the Scots off the hook.

The world champions did not relent but found themselves fruitlessly battering off a stubborn and organised Scotland side, who looked increasingly optimistic in their attack.

Fiorentina’s Clelland came close to an equaliser, with the ball falling to her wrong foot as the Scots searched for an equaliser.

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