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Result: World Cup-bound Scotland beat Jamaica in front of record crowd

Result: World Cup-bound Scotland beat Jamaica in front of record crowd
© Reuters
The Scots hosted Jamaica in a friendly at Hampden Park.

Scotland Women achieved boss Shelley Kerr’s “watershed moment” with a record crowd of 18,555 in their 3-2 win over Jamaica at Hampden Park.

The Scots head coach had targeted the 4,098 of last year’s match against Switzerland for the send-off friendly match ahead of this summer’s World Cup in France, their first appearance at the competition.

Kerr claimed that reaching a five-figure attendance would be the most recent indication of the growth of the women’s game.

The Scottish Football Association had kept prices low and also offered complimentary tickets to schools and clubs and supporters flocked to Mount Florida.

By the time they eventually all got in the record was obliterated, although due to queues at the turnstiles many missed visiting attacker Khadija Shaw firing in the opener past keeper Lee Alexander from the edge of the box after 15 minutes.

Addressing the fact that some supporters missed the start of the game, a Scottish FA spokesperson said: “We regret that a small number of fans were unable to take their seats until after kick-off.

“This was due to an even greater-than-anticipated walk-up crowd to the cash gates.

“We had 43 turnstiles in operation in anticipation of a record crowd, the vast majority of whom received their match tickets in advance.

“We apologise for any inconvenience and would like to thank those who attended this hugely exciting and historic event in record numbers.”

The last time Scotland Women played at the national stadium was in October 2012, when they drew 1-1 against Spain in the first leg of a Euro play-off.

The current international side showed their mettle.

Lively attacker Erin Cuthbert had the Scotland fans on their feet on the half-hour mark when she drove forward with the ball and thundered a drive from 30 yards high past Jamaica keeper Sydney Schneider.

Five minutes later, after Cuthbert was fouled by Dominique Bond-Flasza 20 yards from goal, midfielder Caroline Weir curled the free-kick into the top corner.

Enthusiastic applause from the home fans greeted the half-time whistle but Shaw stunned the crowd into silence five minutes after the break when she broke clear of the exposed home defence to confidently dink the ball over Alexander.

Back came the Scots again.

In the 68th minute half-time substitute Sophie Howard, on for Jen Beattie, peeled away at the back post and looped a header from Weir’s corner into the net to restore their lead.

A raft of substitutions meant the game became a little disjointed in the closing stages while a cheer went up when the attendance was flashed up on the screen.

Howard’s goal ultimately gave Kerr’s side a morale-boosting win before they travel to France, where they will meet Auld Enemy England in their group opener on June 9 before matches against Japan and Argentina.

Kerr was pleased to have Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, new men’s national team boss Steve Clarke and tennis coach Judy Murray, mother of Andy and Jamie Murray, in the dressing room at the end.

She said: “It is not a bad bench is it? They are all inspiring people, they all had a chat with the players.

“The First Minister is the patron of the women’s national team and she takes that roll really seriously.

“I think this is the first game she has been at that we have won so I am delighted with that, long may that continue.

“Judy Murray is an inspirational women in women’s sport, she spoke to myself and the players about how important it is to inspire little girls in particular to take up sport in terms of physical activity.

“Steve is new in the job, he had a squad announcement today so for the three of them to come and spend time speaking to the players was fantastic.”

The former Scotland defender was delighted to win the game and with the record crowd, adding: “I never thought I would see that in my lifetime in Scotland, supporting the women’s national team and it is a credit to the players.”

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