Scotland missed out on a second victory in the Pinatar Cup as they lost the 2024 final of the invitational tournament in a penalty shootout against debutants Finland.

Oona Sevenius put the Finns ahead in the first half with a clever header against the run of play after Scotland switched off in midfield as players and management debated tactics.

Pedro Martinez Losa’s side dominated possession and were relentless in their press as they sought an equaliser – although their opponents had several presentable chances to increase their lead.

But Scotland’s persistence was rewarded when Martha Thomas struck for the third time in two games, cushioning in from close range after Erin Cuthbert’s free-kick was parried.

Cuthbert then had the opportunity to clinch victory from the spot in the shootout after Sandy MacIver saved Heidi Kollanen’s effort, but the Chelsea midfielder’s effort was palmed away.

Rangers’ Nicola Docherty then had her penalty kept out as Finland won 5-4 to deny the Scots the trophy.

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Scotland’s confidence was high on the back of the 2-0 semi-final win against the Philippines thanks to Thomas’ double, and it was the Tottenham Hotspur striker who threatened first when she let fly after three minutes.

In a frantic start to a match again affected by windy conditions, a loose Finnish pass across the backline was intercepted by Thomas and while her shot from distance was struck with venom, it failed to drop in time to beat Tinja-Riikka Korpela.

However when Finland got their foot on the ball, Scotland’s confidence changed into confusion – and their disarray was punished.

Mixed messages between the bench and the pitch were discussed and that ultimately led to Sevenius’ sweet opener.

Cuthbert made clear she was confused by the tactics being suggested from the dugout and was heard to shout “that’s not the game plan”.

The experienced midfielder led the charge as Scotland clawed their way back in the contest though, forcing a strong parry from Korpela with a trademark strike from distance while creating numerous opportunities her team-mates could not execute.

At the other end, MacIver made some errors with her feet and the Manchester City goalkeeper was fortunate to see Linda Sallstrom twice connect with the woodwork rather than find the net.

The substitute first hit the post after MacIver made a stray pass following some indecision and her crossbar was then struck after the goalkeeper mistimed a burst out of the penalty box.

Cuthbert’s well-hit free-kick could not be held by Korpela though and after a few near-misses from Thomas and Claire Emslie, the former calmly struck the ball home for the equaliser.

However Scotland could not follow their 2020 triumph with a win to take into the 2025 Euro qualifying campaign which begins in April.

Player of the match – Erin Cuthbert

Erin Cuthbert, Scotland
She might have missed her penalty but during the 90 minutes Erin Cuthbert was streets ahead of every other player on the pitch. She cut an exasperated figure at times but used that frustration to drive the team forward and raise standards all around her as Scotland fought back to take the final to a penalty shootout

What they said

Scotland head coach Pedro Martinez Losa: “I am very happy with the performance, I think we had a very complete game in and out of possession, the levels of commitment were very good at high pressing and counter-pressing.

“We played against a very serious opponent who play very good football and I think it was a very good test that helps us to develop the team.”

Scotland ‘want more after competing well’

Scotland defender Sophie Howard: “They had one chance in the first half and they capitalised which is frustrating, disappointing and not good enough from us, but the fact that we came back shows who we are.

“We are Scottish, we have neglected that a bit in the past and I think today was a massive shift to come back and we dominated most of the game. I think we deserved to win in the 90 minutes.”

Line-ups

Scotland

Formation 4-3-3

  • 21MacIver
  • 11Evans
  • 5Howard
  • 15Clark
  • 2Docherty
  • 22Cuthbert
  • 8KerrSubstituted forCorsieat 62′minutes
  • 6CornetSubstituted forLauderat 74′minutes
  • 18EmslieSubstituted forNapierat 74′minutes
  • 9Thomas
  • 10HansonSubstituted forBrownat 62′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Gibson
  • 3Eddie
  • 4Corsie
  • 7Brown
  • 12Fife
  • 13Ross
  • 14Lauder
  • 16Rodgers
  • 17Smith
  • 19Davidson
  • 20Hay
  • 23Napier

Finland

Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 23Korpela
  • 5Koivisto
  • 15Kuikka
  • 3Nyström
  • 7Tynnilä
  • 8Ahtinen
  • 20SummanenSubstituted forKollanenat 70′minutes
  • 4ÖlingSubstituted forSirenat 45′minutes
  • 9Kosola
  • 21SeveniusSubstituted forSällströmat 45′minutes
  • 22RantalaSubstituted forFranssiat 83′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Koivunen
  • 6Peltonen
  • 11Heroum
  • 12Majasaari
  • 13Siren
  • 14Kollanen
  • 16Hartikainen
  • 17Franssi
  • 18Sällström
  • 19Peuhkurinen
  • 24Koivisto

Referee:
Jana Adamkova

Attendance:
200

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Scotland 1(4), Finland Women 1(5).

  2. Penalty Shootout ends, Scotland 1(4), Finland Women 1(5).

  3. Penalty saved. Nicola Docherty (Scotland) left footed shot saved in the bottom left corner.

  4. Goal! Scotland 1(4), Finland Women 1(5). Sanni Franssi (Finland Women) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

  5. Penalty saved. Erin Cuthbert (Scotland) right footed shot saved in the bottom left corner.

  6. Goal! Scotland 1(4), Finland Women 1(4). Linda Sällström (Finland Women) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the high centre of the goal.

  7. Goal! Scotland 1(4), Finland Women 1(3). Fiona Brown (Scotland) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

  8. Penalty saved. Heidi Kollanen (Finland Women) right footed shot saved in the bottom left corner.

  9. Goal! Scotland 1(3), Finland Women 1(3). Martha Thomas (Scotland) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

  10. Goal! Scotland 1(2), Finland Women 1(3). Olga Ahtinen (Finland Women) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

  11. Goal! Scotland 1(2), Finland Women 1(2). Lisa Evans (Scotland) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

  12. Goal! Scotland 1(1), Finland Women 1(2). Eva Nyström (Finland Women) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

  13. Goal! Scotland 1(1), Finland Women 1(1). Rachel Corsie (Scotland) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the centre of the goal.

  14. Goal! Scotland 1, Finland Women 1(1). Natalia Kuikka (Finland Women) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

  15. Penalty Shootout begins Scotland 1, Finland Women 1.

  16. Second Half ends, Scotland 1, Finland Women 1.

  17. Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Natalia Kuikka.

  18. Corner, Finland Women. Conceded by Nicola Docherty.

  19. Foul by Sophie Howard (Scotland).

  20. Linda Sällström (Finland Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

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