Euro 2017: Scotland will go further next time, says Erin Cuthbert

By Amy McBeathBBC Scotland at Euro 2017
Scotland beat Spain 1-0 but went out of the tournament on goal difference
Scotland beat Spain 1-0 but went out of the tournament on goal difference

Scotland will learn from their painful Euro 2017 exit and improve on a debut showing at a major finals, says midfielder Erin Cuthbert.

A 1-0 win over Spain was not enough for Anna Signeul's team, who drop out on goal difference after losing their first two group games.

"We showed we can compete with the very, very best," said Cuthbert.

"We are going to be back here next time and I guarantee we will be getting further."

Following a 6-0 hammering from England and a below-par 2-1 loss to Portugal, the Scots needed to beat Spain by two goals combined with an England win over Portugal.

England maintained their 100% record in the Netherlands but Scotland could not add to Caroline Weir's first-half strike.

"Mixed emotions," Chelsea's Cuthbert told BBC Scotland. "We are devastated that we've bowed out of the tournament.

"That performance has shown what we are really about and if we had played like that in the other games then we wouldn't have had a problem qualifying. We gave everything we could."

Cuthbert, the youngest member of the Scotland squad, started against Spain, having been a substitute in the previous matches.

The 19-year-old scored against Portugal and was instrumental in Weir's goal.

Now she is determined to experience more tournament football on the international stage.

"Obviously I'm a young player, I've got that to my advantage," she said.

"I came into the Scotland set-up at a very good time with world-class players and I think we've got a real chance of qualifying next time. I've got every faith that these players can do it.

"This is going to spur us on in the future."

Scotland goalkeeper Gemma Fay
Fay was kept busy as Spain dominated possession but could not score against Scotland

Captain Gemma Fay made her Scotland debut in the year Cuthbert was born - 1998 - and the goalkeeper has yet decide if she will carry on.

The clean sheet against Spain was the 35-year-old goalkeeper's 203rd appearance and World Cup qualifying begins in September, with Shelley Kerr taking over from Signeul as head coach.

The Scots are in a group with Switzerland, Poland, Belarus and Albania, with only the winners guaranteed progress to the 2019 finals in France. The four best runners-up will compete in a play-off for the final European spot.

Reflecting on what was Scotland's first win over Spain, Fay said: "It's a huge result and I am happy.

"But we believed we could qualify, that's why we were here.

"We are at our best as underdogs and people had written us off before this game, I think.

"We executed our game plan the way we wanted - we limited them to the chances that were the least dangerous, we didn't wanted them playing through our midfield and they rarely did.

"It was actually quite enjoyable as we had such an energy about us."

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