The UEFA Women’s European Championship is underway in the Netherlands, with 16 teams split into four groups for round-robin play during the group stage. Today, the first round of the group stage ends, as Group D competes in their opening matches of the tournament.
Seattle Reign FC’s Rachel Corsie and Scotland make their debut on the international stage after 13 unsuccessful attempts, thanks in large part to the contributions of former Reign FC midfielder Kim Little during a qualifying stage that saw them finish second in their group behind Iceland. Unfortunately, Little suffered an ACL injury in May while training with her current club, Arsenal Ladies, and will miss the tournament.
Aside from a 4-0 home defeat to Iceland in qualifiers, Scotland’s path to the EURO was nearly flawless. The team won seven matches, including a 2-1 away win in Iceland powered by two goals from Manchester City forward Jane Ross. Scotland finished qualifiers scoring 30 goals, and conceding just seven.
Corsie helps anchor the Scotland back line, which faces a strong England side who have shown that their third-place finish at the 2015 Women’s World Cup was no fluke. England reached the EURO on the strength of an undefeated qualifying round performance, conceding only one goal in eight matches. Corsie will be all the more important after Scotland lost Manchester City defender Jennifer Beattie to an ankle injury.
Other players to watch on Scotland’s squad include defender Ifeoma Dieke, who along with Little was the only Scottish player to represent Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics; former Bayern Munich midfielder Lisa Evans, who recently signed for Arsenal Ladies; and Caroline Weir, a creative midfielder who scored five goals for Liverpool during the Spring Series of the English Women’s Super League. These two, and the rest of the midfield band, will be relied on to provide a shield for the backline.
How to watch:
Spain vs. Portugal
Date/Time: Wednesday, 9:00 am PT
Location: Stadion De Vijverberg, Doetinchem
England vs. Scotland
Date/Time: Wednesday, 11:45 am PT
Location: Stadion Galgenwaard, Utrecht
This is your Ride of the Valkyries EUROs 2017 gamethread. Watch with us.