Record crowd gives Scotland Women perfect World Cup send-off

Scotland Women achieved boss Shelley Kerr’s “watershed moment” with a record crowd of 18,555 in their 3-2 win over Jamaica at Hampden Park.

The Scots head coach had targeted the 4,098 of last year’s match against Switzerland for the send-off friendly match ahead of this summer’s World Cup in France, their first appearance at the competition.

Kerr claimed that reaching a five-figure attendance would be the most recent indication of the growth of the women’s game.

The Scottish Football Association had kept prices low and also offered complimentary tickets to schools and clubs and supporters flocked to Mount Florida.

By the time they eventually all got in the record was obliterated, although due to queues at the turnstiles many missed visiting attacker Khadija Shaw firing in the opener past keeper Lee Alexander from the edge of the box after 15 minutes.

The last time Scotland Women played at the national stadium was in October  2012, when they drew 1-1 against Spain in the first leg of a Euro play-off.

The current international side showed their mettle.

Lively attacker Erin Cuthbert had the Scotland fans on their feet on the half-hour mark when she drove forward with the ball and thundered a drive from 30 yards high past Jamaica keeper Sydney Schneider.

Five minutes later, after Cuthbert was fouled by Dominique Bond-Flasza 20 yards from goal, midfielder Caroline Weir curled the free-kick into the top corner.

Enthusiastic applause from the home fans greeted the half-time whistle but Shaw stunned the crowd into silence five minutes after the break when she broke clear of the exposed home defence to confidently dink the ball over Alexander.

Back came the Scots again.

In the 68th minute half-time substitute Sophie Howard, on for Jen Beattie, peeled away at the back post and looped a header from Weir’s corner into the net to restore their lead.

A raft of substitutions meant the game became a little disjointed in the closing stages while a cheer went up when the attendance was flashed up on the screen.

Howard’s goal ultimately gave Kerr’s side a morale-boosting win before they travel to France, where they will meet Auld Enemy England in their group opener on June 9 before matches against Japan and Argentina.

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