Even though they lost their opening two games to England and Portugal, the Scots can still implausibly reach the last eight as Group D runnersup. If Mark Sampson’s side, as they should, beat Portugal, then Scotland would join them in the knockout stages if they could somehow find the wherewithal to beat Spain by two or more.
Such an outcome would, of course, be sweet revenge for the worst night in Love’s extensive footballing career. She is by far Scotland’s most capped outfield player with 179 appearances, but while some of them might become a blur over time, she will never exorcise the memories a game on the outskirts of Madrid late in 2012.
Scotland were on the brink of qualifying for the European Championship in Sweden the following summer, needing just to hang on for a few more seconds to beat Spain on away goals with the tie balanced 3-3 on aggregate in extra time. Then the home side scored with the last kick of the ball.
“If you ask any of us who were involved, we would all point to that match as our worst moment in football,” the 31-year-old said. “It was the way it happened, with it being the last minute and ultimately it puts us out.
“We were on top of the world just five seconds before they scored.”
While the delicious prospect
JO LOVE of revenge being a dish best servedcoldholdsmuchenticement for Love and those of her team-mates who were playing 2 Scotland head coach Anna Signeul and her players console themselves with a group hug following their defeat by Portugal. Now they must beat Spain by at least two goals to have a chance of remaining in the tournament.
“We owe Spain one. We also owe Scotland one because we have to show we can win and compete against the best teams. We don’t want to leave the tournament without any points”