scotland

Scotland Women produced one of their best-ever results in Larnaca last night, after securing a 1-1 draw with France.

Leanne Ross put Anna Signeul’s side ahead in only the sixth minute and it was over an hour later when an own goal from Jenny Beattie brought a reprieve for the side who are fifth in the Fifa rankings.

Manager Anna Signeul sprang a surprise before kick off by selecting Ifeoma Dieke, who was expected to be on the bench, for her first Scotland game since rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament in the 2012 London Olympics.

Dieke partnered Beattie in central defence, which meant a change of role for Rachel Corsie, who moved forward into a holding midfield position in a 4-1-4-1 formation.

France started strongly and Camille Abily went close with a low shot before the Scots shook the tournament favourites with a well taken goal in the sixth minute.

Kim Little wrong-footed the French defence with a great turn in the box and the ball eventually fell to Lisa Evans who beat her marker and sent in a low cross which was met by the unmarked Leanne Ross – and the Glasgow City midfielder scored easily.

Two minutes later Gemma Fay produced a great save to deny Abily.

The French number 10 missed another chance in the 19th minute, then six minutes before the interval a long range shot from Elise Bussaglia tested Fay again.

New French coach Philippe Bergeroo sent his players out early for the second half but it was Scotland who came closest to adding to their lead through Jane Ross who fired just over the bar in the 57th minute.

France made a triple substitution in an effort to get back into the game and they eventually equalised when  Gaetane Thiney cut the ball back from the byline and Beattie directed the ball past Fay for an own goal.

Despite France doing most of the pressing, Scotland nearly regained the lead ten minutes from time when Jane Ross’s flashing header went just past the post.

Giant French defender Wendie Renard had the last chance of the game with a downward header from a corner, but it slipped past the post on a memorable night for the Scots.

Scotland (4-1-4-1): Fay (GK), Brown, Dieke (Mitchell 74), Beattie, Lauder, Corsie, L Ross, Little, Love, Evans, J Ross.

Referee: Frida Nielsen (Den)