SCOTLAND manager Shelley Kerr declared herself delighted with Scotland’s tight 1-0 win over Poland at Paisley 2021 Stadium last night, although it is fair to say the scoreline flattered the Scots.

Following their defeat against Switzerland last week, this was a game that the Scots had to win - and they knew it. Defeat would likely have signalled the end of their ambitions of topping Group 2 and with it, their hopes of securing automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup.

With Scotland ranked nine above Poland, the home team were heavy favourites to take all three points.

It was the Poles who made the brightest start though, pushing forward at every opportunity - a tactic that was aided in no small part by the Scots’ willingness to give the ball away far too cheaply.

However, in the 15th minute, Scotland make their first decent break forward of the match and Claire Emslie found herself in space just inside the box. But the Manchester City forward saw her shot go just over the bar.

Emslie continued to be Scotland’s brightest light in the first half but her early shot was the best Scotland could muster in the first 45 minutes, with Poland looking stronger and more threatening than Kerr’s team, dominating the midfield in particular.

The second half started in much the same way as the first, with Poland in the ascendance. In the 55th minute, Poland had their best chance to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty for a handball by Jo Love but Lee Alexander made a superb save low to her right from Wolfsburg striker Ewa Pajor’s spot kick.

In the final 20 minutes, Scotland began to look more threatening and when Paulina Dudek was sent off for her second bookable offence, Scotland began to really go for it.

Their pressure paid off almost immediately with Zoe Ness scoring with a close-range header in the 79th minute. With four minutes to go, Claire Emslie made it 2-0 before Erin Cuthbert added a third to ensure the Scots picked up a vital three points to move into second place in Group 2.

“It wasn’t a great performance but it was great result and that’s football,” said a clearly relieved Kerr.

“I don’t think our chance of qualification was gone if we hadn’t beaten Poland but certainly it would have been very difficult for us.”

There are a number of things Kerr admitted the Scots must work on before they play their next World Cup qualifiers in June against Belarus and the reverse fixture against the Poles. “There’s a lot of things we need to address moving forward,” she said.

“I thought we showed a bit of nervousness at the start of the game. We knew Poland would be physical and you’ve got to match that in these big games or else teams will run over the top of you. The last 15 or 20 minutes, you saw what we’re capable of but you can’t wait until that point in the game and perhaps we were a bit fortunate if I’m being honest.

“You can have great ball players but you need to match teams physically and that’s something we could do better.”