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Published 25 July 2023 5 min read
England Women's Senior Team

England suffer Nations League heartbreak despite emphatic Scotland win

Written by:

Abi Curran

  • N. Docherty (72′)
UEFA Women's Nations League League A
Tuesday 05 December, 07:45 PM Hampden Park
0 6
HT: 0 - 4
  • A. Greenwood (12′)
  • L. James (38′) (39′)
  • B. Mead (46′)
  • F. Kirby (49′)
  • L. Bronze (93′)

Lucy Bronze's injury-time header looked set to book England's place in the UEFA Women's Nations League semi-final before the Netherlands' late goal against Belgium

06 Dec 2023 6:00

Highlights: Scotland 0-6 England

See the best of the action from Hampden Park as England knock six past the Auld Enemy

.Lionesses boss Sarina Wiegman and Keira Walsh speak to the media on Monday
.Lionesses boss Sarina Wiegman and Keira Walsh speak to the media on Monday

Scotland v England
UEFA Women's Nations League
7.45pm GMT, Tuesday 5 December 2023
Hampden Park

Scotland in profile

The Tartan Army
 Pedro Martinez Losa
Captain: Rachel Corsie
Last encounter: England 2-1 Scotland, 22 September 2023
England head coach Sarina Wiegman and midfielder Keira Walsh say the Lionesses are looking to find the perfect balance against Scotland, as they target a place in next year’s UEFA Women’s Nations League Finals.

They go into their final group match at Hampden Park knowing that they will need to win by a margin of four goals to give themselves a chance of topping the table and progressing.

With current group leaders Netherlands hosting Belgium in their final game at the same time, the result there will also have an effect.

But Wiegman knows her side can only concentrate on their own performance, against their oldest football rivals.

“We know the rivalry between England and Scotland, and everybody wants to win this game,” said Wiegman.

“We know what we have to do, but the Netherlands and Belgium also know what they have to do so it’s still open.

“We’re just going to give our best to get the best performance we can and hopefully that gives us something special.

“Whenever we start a game, we want to attack and score goals but you also have an opponent too. So tomorrow, of course, we really want to go for the attack but we also want to keep the nil and be ready if we lose the ball to regain it as quickly as possible.

“We don’t want to be erratic, we want to be controlled to create our best chances and get lots of players up front but also do the right thing, make the right choices and stay controlled throughout the team.”

Walsh echoed her manager’s view too, and admits that while England will look to attack in search of goals, they also need to be wary of their hosts.

“They’ve got some top players and so do we, and we both want to win this game, so we’ll go out and play a game and hopefully win,” said the Barcelona playmaker.

“In the second half on Friday, you could see we were a bit more on the front foot, but I always see my job as the same – I have to get the ball to those players who are going to score us goals and create those opportunities.

“When we have such talented players in those areas it’s not for me to do anything super fancy, but just get the ball to them. For me, nothing changes but we’re aware that we’ve got to be on the front foot.

“Equally, they’ve got some talented players so we have to be aware of that but I think we play our best when we’re in possession and we create opportunities that are measured and not just throwing balls in the box.” 

Match Facts & Stats

● England have won 24 of their 27 meetings with Scotland in all competitions (D1 L2), including each of the last three by an aggregate scoreline of 10-2. Scotland’s last win against the Lionesses came back in March 2011 in the Cyprus Cup.

● Scotland have lost seven of their eight home games against England in all competitions, losing each of their last six on home soil against the Lionesses since a 2-1 friendly victory back in May 1977.

● England have kept a clean sheet in each of their last four away games against Scotland, although this will be their first visit since a 4-0 win in August 1997.

● Scotland remain winless in this UEFA Women's Nations League campaign (D2 L3), having won five of their six games in the build up to the tournament (D1).

● The Lionesses have alternated between winning (four) and losing (three) their last seven games in all competitions, beating Netherlands 3-2 last time out. They have however lost each of their last two away games (vs Netherlands & Belgium, both in the UEFA Women's Nations League), last enduring a longer losing streak on the road between November 2002 - September 2003 (a run of six).

● Lauren James, who assisted two of England’s three goals against Netherland’s last time out, has been directly involved in nine goals in her nine international starts in 2023 (four goals, five assists) and has ten goal involvements overall this calendar year, more than any other player for the Lionesses.

● Since the start of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Lauren Hemp has scored more goals in all competitions than any other England player (six). Hemp has been involved in eight goals across her last ten international appearances (six goals, two assists), either scoring (two) or assisting (one) in each of the Lionesses last three UEFA Women's Nations League.

● Four of the nine goals Scotland have conceded in this UEFA Women's Nations League campaign have been headed (44%), with only Armenia and Wales conceding more (five each).


Head to head

England's first meeting with Scotland came in November 1972, our first senior international game, when we win 3-2 in a friendly in Greenock.

Since then, we've played 26 games, winning 23 to Scotland's two, and then one draw.

Our last four games have all ended in wins for England, with details below.

England 2-1 Scotland
22 September 2023
Sunderland, England

The opening match of the UEFA Women's Nations League ended in victory for the Lionesses thanks to goals from Lucy Bronze and Lauren Hemp.

Scotland 1-2 England
9 June 2019,
Nice, France

Goals from Nikita Parris and Ellen White sealed a win for the Lionesses in the 2019 World Cup, as Phil Neville's began their group stage in the south of France.

England 6-0 Scotland
19 July 2017 
Utrecht, Netherlands

A Jodie Taylor hat-trick saw the Lionesses start their EURO campaign with a bang, as Mark Sampson's squad 

Scotland 4-4 England
8 March 2014
Larnaca, Cyprus

A thrilling draw at the 2014 Cyprus Cup saw the teams tied thanks to goals from Ellen White, Toni Duggan, Rachel Williams and Kelly Smith.

08 Mar 2013 4:55

Highlights: England 4-4 Scotland

A look at our meeting with Scotland at the Cyprus Cup in 2014

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Ticket Information

Details on how to purchase tickets for this game will be made available closer to the match date.


How to watch or stream

This game will be broadcast in the UK on BBC One.
We'll have the team line-ups, live stats and text updates from the game from around 75 minutes before kick-off
Beth Mead arriving at Hampden Park ahead of the game with Scotland
Beth Mead arriving at Hampden Park ahead of the game with Scotland

Beth Mead will make her first England start in over a year as one of two changes to the Lionesses’ XI for their must-win game against Scotland.

A long-term knee injury ruled Mead out of the World Cup and after featuring for 45 minutes during the 3-2 win over the Netherlands on Friday night, the Arsenal star returns to the starting line-up at Hampden Park in place of Chloe Kelly.

Esme Morgan also comes in for Jess Carter in the other change for Sarina Wiegman’s side as they look to secure the victory to keep their Nations League and Team GB’s Olympic qualification hopes alive.

England: 1 Mary Earps ©, 2 Lucy Beonze, 3 Niamh Charles, 4 Keira Walsh, 5 Alex Greenwood, 6 Esme Morga, 7 Beth Mead, 8 Georgia Stanway, 9 Fran Kirby, 10 Lauren James, 11 Lauren Hemp

Substitutes: 13 Hannah Hampton, 12 Jess Carter, 14 Ella Toone, 15 Lotte Wubben-Moy, 16 Katie Zelem, 17 Chloe Kelly, 18 Grace Clinton, 19 Rachel Daly, 20 Maya Le Tissier, 21 Khiara Keating, 22 Millie Turner, 23 Alessia Russo

Match Line Up

England players together after their victory over Scotland
England players together after their victory over Scotland

England missed out on a UEFA Nations League semi-final in the cruellest of circumstances despite an emphatic 6-0 victory Β­over Scotland at Hampden Park.

Alex Greenwood’s early header, two goals in as many minutes from Lauren James and a strike on the stroke of half-time from Beth Mead kept England’s dreams of a semi-final place – and potential Olympic qualification for Team GB – alive, with the Lionesses needing to better the Netherlands’ score against Belgium by three goals.

It looked as though a fifth goal from Fran Kirby would be enough to secure England’s progression in the Nations League for most of the second half until the Netherlands made it 3-0 in injury-time.

Then with the final touch of the game, Lucy Bronze headed in a sixth goal to send England back to top spot with minutes remaining in the Netherlands match.

But as the Lionesses players waited on the sideline for the final whistle in the other match, the Netherlands scored a second goal in injury-time to make it 4-0 and mean it is the Dutch who will be heading to the Nations League semi-final next year and have the chance to book Olympic qualification.

Wiegman made two changes to her starting line-up, as Mead was handed her first England start in more than a year following her serious knee injury and Esme Morgan replaced Jess Carter in the backline.

As expected, England flew out of the blocks and started the clash with a frenetic pace, committing Bronze and Niamh Charles forward in marauding fashion.

Scotland had plans of their own and showed their eagerness to get in behind through Lisa Evans and Claire Emslie.

England drew first blood in the 12th minute though through Greenwood when she met an out-swinging Mead corner from eight yards out, guiding the ball past the reach of Lee Gibson.

Celebrations were short as England hurried back for the restart, focused on the task at hand before Bronze tried her luck with a floating effort that fizzed over the bar.

 Lauren James' quick-fire double in the first half changed the dynamic of the match
Lauren James' quick-fire double in the first half changed the dynamic of the match

Lauren Hemp hit the post on the half-hour mark when she was played in open space by James as Hampden Park watched in disbelief.

Immediately down the other end, Emslie found herself in an attacking position and tried an angled shot which swung away from Mary Earps’ goal.

James got the second in the 38th minute when her strike on the edge of the box took a deflection past Gibson.

She scored again less than a minute later with a stunning curling effort from outside the box that tucked into the top right corner.

Mead completed a stunning half before the whistle, when she was picked out by James at the back post, firing home with a ruthless finish.

England were hungry for more at the restart as Georgia Stanway battled to the line and crossed a low ball to Kirby ,who finished in the penalty area with ease.

 Beth Mead celebrating her first England goal in 15 months 
Beth Mead celebrating her first England goal in 15 months 

James played in Hemp centrally on the turn in the 56th minute but she was denied again, this time by Gibson.

Wiegman’s side continued to bombard Scotland’s goal as Hemp and Kirby hit the woodwork in quick succession.

In the 61st minute, Greenwood bent the ball over the wall from a free-kick but she was denied by Gibson at full stretch.

Substitute Martha Thomas orchestrated a nervy moment for England in the box when the ball fell to her but the connection was not clean enough to trouble Earps.

Kirsty Hanson then raised alarm bells in the 71st minute when she was through but Earps expertly nailed the challenge to dispossess the Scot in the box.

A tense period until the final whistle ensued but England thought they had secured their progression when Bronze headed in at the far post with the final play of the game, only to have their hopes dashed by the Netherlands’ fourth goal against Belgium.

Match Line Up

England: 1 Mary Earps ©, 2 Lucy Bronze, 3 Niamh Charles, 4 Keira Walsh, 5 Alex Greenwood, 6 Esme Morgan, 7 Beth Mead, 8 Georgia Stanway, 9 Fran Kirby, 10 Lauren James, 11 Lauren Hemp

Substitutes: 14 Ella Toone for Kirby 64’, 23 Alessia Russo for Mead

Substitutes not used: 12 Jess Carter, 13 Hannah Hampton, 15 Lotte Wubben-Moy, 16 Katie Zelem, 17 Chloe Kelly, 18 Grace Clinton, 19 Rachel Daly, 20 Maya Le Tissier, 21 Khiara Keating, 22 Millie Turner

Head coach: Sarina Wiegman

Goals: Greenwood 12’, James 38’ 39’, Mead 45+1’, Kirby 46’, Bronze 90+3’

Scotland: 1 Lee Gibson, 2 Nicola Docherty, 3 Emma Mukandi, 4 Rachel Corsie ©, 8 Sam Kerr, 10 Kirsty Hanson, 11 Lisa Evans, 14 Rachel McLauchlan, 15 Jenna Clark, 18 Claire Emslie, 22 Erin Cuthbert

Substitutes: 7 Fiona Brown for Mukandi 45’, 23 Jamie-Lee Napier for McLauchlan 45’, 5 Sophie Howard for Clark 45’, 20 Martha Thomas for Emslie 64’

Substitutes not used: 12 Jenna Fife, 21 Sandy Maciver, 6 Kirsty Maclean, 9 Hayley Lauder, 13 Brogan Hay, 16 Amy Rodgers, 17 Abi Harrison, 18 Lauren Davidson

Head coach: Pedro Martinez Losa

Bookings: Docherty