SHELLEY Kerr and her most capped player, Jo Love, believe Scotland have taken massive strides towards a successful World Cup. Despite fielding a second-string side, the Scots beat Euro 2017 finalists Denmark with more to spare than the scoreline suggests and ended their Algarve Cup campaign on a high.

The Danes, too, were below full strength, but Kerr made no fewer than ten changes from the side which had beaten Iceland 4-1 on Monday. Glasgow City midfielder Love, who is now just eleven games short of a double century of caps, was made captain for the day in the absence of Rachel Corsie from the starting line-up.

The goal which decided the game was scored just after the half hour by Jane Ross. She was the only member of yesterday's side who might expect to be in the strongest starting eleven and it was her 58th international counter.

“It has been a productive eleven days,” Kerr said. “All three performances have been excellent, albeit that we didn't beat Canada.

“We ran them very close, beat a strong Icelandic team, and to win in the comfortable manner we did against a tough Danish side was really pleasing. Every single player is growing and getting better and better.”

The result allowed Scotland to finish fifth in the twelve-team tournament which was won by Norway.

“We've set ourselves the target of getting out of the group at the World Cup,” Kerr continued. “It's a tough group but there's the desire and will to win games within the squad. The mentality is getting better and better all the time.”

Love said the current squad is the best she has been in since winning her first cap, also in the Algarve Cup, way back in 2002. “Definitely,” the 33-year-old said. “Everything has gone up a gear – fitness, technical ability, tactical ability.

“The talent is unbelievable. It's hard to keep up with it at times, but I'm still trying.”

Scotland started the strongest, with Zoe Ness hitting the bar early on, but Denmark were coming back into it when Ross scored. The West Ham striker ran on to a fine though ball from Love and fired in a shot from 25 yards which deceived Danish goalkeeper Katrine Abel.

Ness rattled the bar with another shot before half time, while Ross also came close to a second goal on either side of the interval.

Denmark did little to trouble Hibernian goalkeeper Jenna Fife, who was making only her second start. The 23-year-old dealt comfortably with whatever came her way and only two bad mistakes, one after the other, by centre-half Frankie Brown threatened to give the Danes an undeserved lifeline.


Scotland (4-2-3-1): Fife; Arthur, J Murray (Corsie 59), Fr Brown, Lauder; Crichton (Little 69), Love (Weir 69); Ross, C Murray (Arnot 59), Fi Brown (Emslie 84); Ness (Harrison 59)

Denmark (4-4-2): Abel; Neilsen, Ballisager, Arnth (Herniksen 66), S Holmgaard; Gejl, Junge (Tavlo 60), K Holmgaard (Harder 60), Thogersen; Bruun (Troelsgaard 66). Nadim (Thestrup 75)

Referee L Venegas (Mex)