Women's Euro 2017: Scotland do not deserve to go home - Anna Signeul

Anna Signeul (centre) with Shannoon Lynn and Frankie Brown
Anna Signeul (centre) is leaving Scotland to take over Finland's national side
Women's Euro 207
Coverage: Live commentaries on BBC Radio 5 live and online, plus live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website. Live television coverage on Channel 4

Scotland deserved more than a painful Euro 2017 exit after their 1-0 win over Spain, said Anna Signeul as she made an emotional exit as national coach.

The Scots failed to qualify for the knockout stages despite Caroline Weir's first-half strike in Deventer.

With England defeating Portugal 2-1, Scotland fell one goal short of progressing to the quarter-finals.

"The players were spot on with their performance and with the biggest heart I've seen," Signeul told BBC Scotland.

"I'm so proud of them all. We don't deserve to go home.

"We have some absolutely fantastic players in this team and it's just a shame they haven't been able to show that before."

After defeats by England and Portugal, Signeul's side went into the game knowing they needed at least a two-goal win - and an England victory - to secure second place in Group D.

After early Spanish pressure, Weir struck just before half-time to give them hope.

Leanne Crichton volleyed over the bar as the Scots pressed for a second, but the clearer opportunities fell to the Spaniards, who Scotland had never beaten previously and who now progress to the next stage.

"After the first two games, if people thought Scotland were not very good then tonight they will know what we are all about," said Signeul, who will now take over the Finland national team after 12 years in charge of Scotland.

"We are all about heart, but we also play good football, have great technique and actually coped physically as well.

"I am absolutely convinced that this team will go on and qualify for the next World Cup.

"Hopefully we've got some new fans because this is important for the future."

Scotland celebrate the winning goal by Caroline Weir (left)
Caroline Weir (left) gave Scotland hope with her first-half strike

Liverpool striker Weir was named player of the match, and Signeul described her as "exceptional".

The 22-year-old hopes Scotland's performance will lead to a growth of the game back home.

"We gave it everything to come out on top against what is a very good team," she said.

"I think we showed what Scotland are all about. We just didn't quite get that second goal, but we go out with our heads held high.

"On any other day, that's a top result against a very good team, but unfortunately tonight it's not enough."

Weir said the team had received "unbelievable" backing from Scotland fans.

"We can't thank them enough," she added.

"The travelling support has been much more than we could have asked for or expected. It's great that we've given them something to cheer about.

"Hopefully we've inspired thousands of girls back home to go out and kick a ball about and one day aspire to be playing at a major championship."

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