Cyprus 0-10 Scotland: Visitors shine in Larnaca
Scotland produce a perfect 10 as they breeze past Cyprus in Stuart McLaren's first game in charge
Scotland hammered Cyprus in Larnaca to give interim boss Stuart McLaren a dream start.
The Scots bounced back from the disappointment of failing to qualify for the European Championships to turn on the style.
Braces from Erin Cuthbert, Martha Thomas and substitute Jane Ross were added to by strikes from Caroline Weir, Lizzie Arnot, Claire Emslie and a first international goal for Kirsty Hanson.
Other than striking Lee Alexander’s post early in the first half with the score at 1-0, the Cypriots failed to really muster much attacking presence as the Scots blew them away.
Scotland will remain in Cyprus for their final match of the qualifying campaign against Portugal on Tuesday (15:10 kick off).
Scotland made a bright start to the match. Cuthbert and Thomas both had chances to put the side in front within minutes of the first whistle.
But it was Cuthbert who made the breakthrough on 10 minutes; finishing well after a cutback from Hanson.
Antri Violari of Cyprus hit a post moments later for the side who have yet to score in this qualifying campaign.
Thomas guided a perfect header into the net to double the Scots advantage after 22 minutes, which came from brilliant build up play from Arnot.
The third came soon after through a bit of individual brilliance from the on-form Weir. The Manchester City star showed superb quick feet to defeat three defenders and dink the ball over the goalkeeper.
Hanson opened her Scotland account with a sweet strike from outside the box to make it four with half an hour played.
Cuthbert made it five as she clinically followed up after the Cyprus goalkeeper parried Hanson’s strike back into the danger area.
It was a five-star first half performance as the Scots led 5-0 at the break.
Scotland manager McLaren gave a debut to Celtic’s Lisa Robertson for the second half, whilst Natalie Ross made her first national team appearance since 2009.
Rangers star Arnot shone throughout, and she made a great run at the back post to latch on the end of a Cuthbert cross to make it six with 57 minutes on the clock.
Arnott made a positive contribution again as she whipped the ball into the box for Emslie to score at the back post and inflict a seventh on the hosts.
The Scots continued to play at a high intensity. Substitute Jane Ross won a penalty on the 70th minute and coolly slotted the ball into the net from 12 yards.
Less than a minute later striker Thomas got her second of the game to eclipse the eight goals scored in the reverse fixture at Easter Road, before Jane Ross bagged her brace after a brilliantly weighted ball from Natalie Ross to complete the rout.
A successful first encounter of 2021 with lots of positives to build on.