Scotland 0-1 Netherlands: Brugts curler boosts Olympic hopes

Goalscorer Esmee Brugts evades a challenge from Scotland's Lisa Evans. Photo: ANP/Robert Perry

The Netherlands beat Scotland for the second time in five days to go top of their Nations League group and boost their chances of qualifying for next year’s Olympic tournament.

After a bright start by the home side in Glasgow, the Dutch took control and twice went close to taking the lead midway through the first half.

A dipping shot by Jill Roord grazed the base of the post, before Sherida Spitse almost caught out Sandy MacIver with a swirling free-kick that the goalkeeper just managed to deflect onto the post.

The breakthrough came after an hour when Esmee Brugts cut in from the left-hand side and unleashed a low curling drive that evaded MacIver’s dive to find the bottom corner.

Brugts was also on the scoresheet when the Dutch beat the same opponents 4-0 in Nijmegen on Friday, along with Daniëlle van de Donk and Lineth Beerensteyn.

In the other group match, a late penalty by Tessa Wullaert earned Belgium a 3-2 win against England that dealt a blow to the World Cup finalists’ hopes of playing in the Olympics in Paris.

The results leave the Leeuwinnen top of League A Group 1 with nine points, two more than Belgium and three ahead of England. Scotland are bottom with a single point.

The Dutch finish their campaign with a trip to England on December 1 and a home match against Belgium four days later.

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