SCOTLAND goalkeeper Lee Alexander hopes to put a disappointing season at club level behind her by taking a big step towards next summer's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in Poland on Friday night.

The penultimate Group B qualifier against Ukraine is being played out of season at the Stadion Miejski in Rzeszow. The game was originally scheduled for Lviv in April, but couldn't be played because of the Russian invasion.

Three points for Alexander's side would all but ensure a place in October's play-offs as runners-up behind group winners Spain. The goalkeeper has come off a campaign in which Glasgow City failed to win any of the three main competitions for the first time since 2003.

“Strange, difficult, frustrating,” she said of City's season. “It's something that you don't expect. You set demands at the start of the season and you fall short on all three fronts.

“It's bitterly disappointing, but I don't think we can say we deserved to win anything. Celtic out-performed us even with ten players in the Scottish Cup final. We didn't really show up in the big games.”

On Friday Scotland will face a Ukraine side which has been reunited in Rzeszow for the first time since February. When the corresponding game was played at Hampden in November most of the squad were with two clubs in Kharkiv, but now play their football in 15 different European countries because of the war.

“Honestly no,” Alexander said when asked if she could comprehend what the Ukrainian players, many with family and friends still living in daily danger, must be going through. “You take for granted how fortunate we are to live in a country where we can go about our lives day to day with no real issues,

“It's horrible what has happened to them. We understand the reasons for the first game being postponed, and everything has been done rightly so. You just hope it never happens to you, and you send prayers and wishes to the players and their families.”

Third seeds Ukraine – who have two games in hand on Scotland and Hungary – need to win to have any chance of reaching the play-offs themselves. They would have been in a stronger position had they held on to a one goal lead at Hampden, but Abi Harrison equalised in the third minute of time added on.

Minutes before that goal Alexander made a vital save from Tamila Khimich to prevent Ukraine from taking what would almost certainly have been a winning 2-0 lead. “Right place, right time,” she said modestly of her effort.

“It's strange when I look back at that game because we dominated for such large spells. But we shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times with slack passes and we let them grow into the game and counter-attack.

“It's really important on Friday to make sure, first of all, that our passing is on point, and to play to our strengths. We've been looking at clips this week and I think we've come a really long way from where we were then to where we are now.

“Looking at the Spain game (in April), that's how we need to play. It doesn't suit us to sit back – when we go and press we're a different team. We need to take that into Friday.”