Substitute Abi Harrison sent Scotland one step closer to the Women’s World Cup finals with an extra-time winner against Austria.
Bristol City forward Harrison headed home Erin Cuthbert’s corner from six yards in the 92nd minute of the first-round play-off at Hampden and Scotland held on for a 1-0 victory.
The win sets up another Hampden clash next Tuesday against the Republic of Ireland in one of three European second-round play-offs.
The two top-ranked winners – based on their record in the qualifying groups – will go into next year’s finals in Australia and New Zealand. The other will enter a 10-team inter-continental tournament which will supply the final three qualifying teams.
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) October 6, 2022
Lee Gibson made an early save right on her line as Austria forced several corners, but the Scotland goalkeeper was rarely troubled.
Centre-forward Martha Thomas had a sniff of goal at the other end following Samantha Kerr’s ball down the channel, but she slipped as the goalkeeper came out to challenge and Scotland midfielder Caroline Weir saw a volley held.
Torrential rain was making play difficult though, and Scotland’s final ball was not good enough when they had a spell of pressure around the half-hour mark.
The closest either side came in the first half was when Julia Hickelsberger grazed the Scotland bar from 20 yards.
The second half was also a tight affair. Austria were not afraid to try their luck from long range but rarely hit the target.
Scotland caused some problems with high balls and one produced their best second-half chance after the visiting goalkeeper punched half clear. Claire Emslie crossed, but substitute Fiona Brown headed over from 12 yards.
Austria substitute Katja Wienerroither had two chances late in regulation time but shot wide each time.
Harrison showed the way to goal when she rose well to meet Cuthbert’s inviting delivery and the biggest scare Scotland had was when Barbara Dunst beat Nicola Docherty inside the box only to shoot over.