The Scotsman - - Sport -

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”

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