Scotland Women ready to reach Euro 2017 'by themselves' - Anna Signeul

By Bryn PalmerBBC Scotland Sport
Jo Love makes a point for Scotland Women in their defeat by Iceland in Falkirk
Jo Love's winner in Belarus put Scotland firmly back on the path to qualification

Scotland Women's coach Anna Signeul believes Tuesday's 1-0 win in Belarus proves her side are ready to claim their place in a first major finals.

Signeul admits the Scots were "mentally hurt" by last week's shock 4-0 home Euro 2017 qualifying defeat by Iceland.

But victory in Minsk leaves them ranked the best of the second-placed teamsexternal-link ahead of their final game away to leaders Iceland on 20 September.

"We know we can do it just by ourselves without any help," she said.

"Taking one point from Iceland, obviously that is our target.

"We were hurt mentally [after the 4-0 defeat in Falkirk] and it was so important to have this game immediately so we could bounce back.

"It would have been awful if we had had to wait until September. So it was really good from that point of view and the players have been fantastic."

With the six best runners-up qualifying directly alongside the eight group winners, Signeul admits she thinks the 18 points Scotland have already "will be enough" regardless of the result in Iceland.

Euro 2017 - qualification picture as it stands
Group winners:Germany, France, Switzerland
Also qualified: England, Norway, Spain
Other group leaders:Iceland, Sweden
Best ranked runners-up (as of 8 June):Scotland, Denmark, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Russia

The Swede was heartened by her side's resilience during an an "absolute must-win" game in Minsk, with Jo Love's 15th-minute header proving enough.

"It was a very difficult game - to pick ourselves up after the defeat and disappointment against Iceland was tough, as well as travelling and recovering from what was a very physical game," Signeul told BBC Scotland.

"Then mentally when it was an absolute must-win game, those are not easy, especially against a team who immediately after kick-off just sat back and didn't give us any space at all.

"We could have scored more goals - their goalkeeper had a very good game - but we did what we went there to do, we got three points.

"There was only one goal but we totally dominated the game. Mentally for the players, it was very important, and they are very happy."

'Little Miss Messi' 'has a great future ahead of her'

Erin Cuthbert in action for Glasgow City against Chelsea in the Champions League last season
Cuthbert's displays for Glasgow City this season elevated her to the Scotland squad

One highlight of Scotland's win in Belarus was a senior debut for 17-year-old Glasgow City midfielder Erin Cuthbert, who appeared for the second half.

Cuthbert was dubbed 'Little Miss Messi'external-link two years ago after a brilliant individual goal as a 15-year-old for Rangers Girls, and Signeul believes she will become a fixture for Scotland in the years to come.

"She was excellent," added the Swede. "She was brave and wanted the ball immediately. She just loves to play football, like so many other girls in the team.

"She showed she wasn't fazed by the situation and maybe that is youth - when you are young, you come in and just grab the chance. I think it is fantastic.

"Erin has a great future ahead of her. This was her first game, but there will be many, many more."

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