SCOTLAND vice-captain Rachel Corsie believes World Cup rivals Sweden have been given further pause for thought following events in Larnaca on Wednesday night.
Despite being the strong favourites to win Group 4 and qualify for next year's World Cup in Canada, the Swedes trail Scotland in the table with a double-header due to be played later this year. If Sweden are beginning to harbour doubts, recent results against France will have added to their concern.
Whereas the Swedes were beaten 3-0 by the French in a friendly last month, Philippe Bergeroo's side needed an own goal from Jenny Beattie to salvage a 1-1 draw against Scotland in Larnaca. While accepting that such comparisons can often be misleading, Corsie nevertheless believes the manner of Scotland's performance offers real hope for the future.
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"The Swedes may look at our result and be surprised," she pointed out. "It's going to be completely different playing Sweden in World Cup qualifying, but the result against France confirms to us that we can compete against top teams.
"It was a big benchmark for us because France are physically one of the strongest teams. That so many of them play for one club [Lyon] also helps them gel and they have fantastic touches and movement.
"It can become very tiring not to see a lot of the ball, but the main purpose was to limit them as much as we could and we did that well."
Corsie was played in an unaccustomed position in front of central defenders Ifeoma Dieke and Beattie and the tactic paid off handsomely with goalkeeper Gemma Fay having much less to do than in any previous game against France. "I've played centre-midfield before but not for several years and certainly not at the top level," Corsie said. "It's something I enjoy, and I'd like to play there regularly, but nowadays I'm more naturally a central defender."
Next up for Scotland is the Netherlands in Nicosia today.