International friendly: Denmark Women 2-2 Scotland Women

Jane Ross equalised for Scotland after 21 minutes but the Danes re-established their lead 10 minutes later
Jane Ross equalised for Scotland after 21 minutes but the Danes re-established their lead 10 minutes later

An excellent second-half performance just failed to bring Scotland a deserved win over Denmark in the first of their two friendlies in Cyprus.

The higher-ranked Danes were the better side in the first half and led 2-1 thanks to goals by captain Pernille Harder and Johanna Rasmussen either side of a Jane Ross strike.

Scotland's young substitutes made a huge impact in the second half.

And their pressure paid off when Erin Cuthbert levelled in 71 minutes.

The only downside for Scotland head coach Anna Signeul was watching her captain, goalkeeper Gemma Fay, limp off in the first half. She has been taken to hospital for X-rays on her left foot.

Scotland gave a first start to forward Fiona Brown since she suffered an ACL knee injury playing against France in May 2015.

The 21-year-old recently joined Swedish club Eskilstuna United from Glasgow City and she partnered Jane Ross in a 4-4-2 set-up.

Denmark opened the scoring after just five minutes and it was a poor goal for Scotland to concede. Fay's clearance was collected by Sanne Troelsgaard and then Harder was given too much space to slip the ball past the Scotland goalkeeper after being fed by Rasmussen.

The Danes continued to look the more dangerous until Ross equalised after 22 minutes. Kim Little, who looked lively throughout, fed a fine ball through and it was also an excellent finish by the Manchester City striker, who scored from 22 yards.

There was a lengthy hold-up when Fay crumpled to the ground after trying to collect a high ball. She was eventually replaced by Vittsjo's Shannon Lynn. The replacement could do little to prevent Denmark's second, scored by Rasmussen just after the half hour from close range.

As planned, Signeul brought Rachel Corsie, Leanne Crichton, Cuthbert and Lizzie Arnot on at the start of the second half and that completely transformed the game.

Just about every chance was created by the Scots, with 18-year-old Cuthbert, who has joined Chelsea from Glasgow City, in particular making a massive impact up front beside Jane Ross.

Scotland richly deserved the equaliser which came their way after 71 minutes. It was a fine team move and Cuthbert finished it off with a powerful strike.

Scotland came very close to turning the game completely on its head in the closing few minutes. Corsie, playing her first game for six months, was just wide with a header from a Kim Little corner.

Then the outstanding Cuthbert came even closer, her shot rattling back off the far post and Jane Ross narrowly missing out on bundling the rebound home.

Rachel Corsie: "I felt really good to get 45 minutes under my belt. It has been a long time. It was also nice to get a good team performance. I thought we were terrific in the second half from back to front.

"Erin Cuthbert did really well. She played a little further forward than she's maybe used to. She gave us a good outlet, as did the other younger players who came on.

"It's an excellent start to our Euro 2017 preparations. Theses games are friendlies for a reason, but they count for a lot and we need to keep building the momentum and creating a good morale in the team."

Scotland: Fay (Lynn 28), Frankie Brown, Dieke (Corsie 46), Beattie, Mitchell (Arnot 46), L Ross (Cuthbert 46), Little, Weir (Crichton 46), Lauder, Fiona Brown (Emslie 78), J Ross

Yellow card: Weir

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