Scots repeat win over New Zealand

Captain Rachel Corsie (centre) started for Scotland after recovering from knee surgery

Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr says a second 2-0 win over New Zealand in Spain was ideal preparation for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Her side replicated Saturday’s score at the Pinatar Arena in Spain with goals from Jane Ross and Fiona Brown.

“To come off the back of two wins breeds a bit of confidence, especially with two clean sheets,” Kerr said.

“But that’s all it does because you can’t win a game of football just on the training pitch.”

Kerr’s squad, who sit four places below New Zealand at 23rd in the world rankings, travel to Schaffhausen in Switzerland for their opening qualifier on 5 April before playing Poland in Paisley five days later.

The Swiss, ranked 17th, were held to a 0-0 draw by 35th-ranked Wales as they finished second, ahead of their opponents, in a Cyprus Cup group won by Italy on Monday.

In Murcia, Glasgow City goalkeeper Lee Alexander saved from Ali Riley before Scotland captain Rachel Corsie, who returned to the starting line-up for the first time in six months following knee surgery, looked to have opened scoring.

But the defender without a club after leaving Seattle Reign was ruled to have committed a foul inside the box.

Scotland got the breakthrough shortly before the break as Brown’s low cross was tucked neatly into the net by Manchester City striker Ross.

Scotland goalkeeper Lee Alexander made an early save

And it was Rosengard midfielder Brown who drove home the second goal after the break.

Erin Cuthbert’s attempt to extend the lead was saved by New Zealand goalkeeper Erin Nayler as the Scots settled for another 2-0 score line.

Former Arsenal, Hibernian and Spartans manager Kerr is going into her first campaign as national boss after Anna Signeul led the side to last summer’s Euro 2017 finals.

“We know it’s going to be difficult against Switzerland and Poland in our upcoming double-header,” Kerr told BBC Scotland.

“But we certainly feel, in terms of our preparation, we are as close to where we wanted to be going into those games.”

Glasgow City’s Abbi Grant came close to a dream debut against the Kiwis but narrowly missed out on a third goal for the Scots after coming on as a late substitute.

Fellow striker Zoe Ness, the 21-year-old in her second spell at Durham, who sit fourth in England’s second tier, also got her first two caps under her belt.

However, Kerr stressed the intense competition for places up front with so many young players capable of scoring.

“Individually, there’s been some fantastic performances and that’s what happens when you are in a competitive environment,” Kerr added.

“They’ve all staked a claim because they are all different as individuals.”

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