Scotland manager Pedro Martinez Losa accused Belgium of deliberately setting out to injure Caroline Weir in last night’s pulsating 1-1 draw at Hampden in the UEFA Women’s Nations League.
The loss of Real Madrid’s Weir was a major setback for Scotland with Martinez Losa’s frustrations compounded by what he felt had been a game plan of targeting the midfielder who had been excellent before having to go off.
Weir’s challenge on Kassandra Missipo ended her game after just 20 minutes, with Martinez Losa incandescent in the aftermath.
He was booked by Greek referee Eleni Antoniou but could not conceal his sense of grievance.
“First of all I am very angry,” said the normally mild-mannered Spaniard who was cautioned by the official. “We had an injury to our best player and the deliberate part of that was very important.
“Standards at this stage are at a high level. We were punished the other day. The referee was not aware of what was going on with Weir and with Kirsty Hanson and I don’t think she was properly looking.
“When [I was booked] I was telling her that there were two or three tackles when she was following the ball but contact was arriving intentionally.
“The tackles were arriving late but she is not seeing it because she is following the ball. I had to do something. I cannot not let her know.
“I tried to talk to the fourth official too but she was not interested. I was insisting and she showed me a yellow card but I had to remind her.
“We were without one of our best players and that for me was very frustrating. We don’t know yet what the injury is but Caroline clearly could not play on.
“I was told that it was her knee but it was a knock from the other player. From the beginning the doctor was saying she probably could not play on but she was determined to try.”
The irritation would have been compunded by the fact Scotland had started so brightly.
Christy Grimshaw had the best of Scotland’s chances when she brought out a fine save from Chelsea goalkeeper Nicky Evrard who had to get down to claw a header around the post just before the break.
Those frustrations intensified just six minutes after the restart when Scotland were again found wanting defensively.
A ball swing into the back post enable Missipo to steal in front of Sophie Howard and head past the stranded Lee Gibson, a kick in the guts given the way Scotland had controlled the first period.
They lost their way for a spell after losing the opener. Martinez Losa rang the changes as Scotland forced their way back into the game
It looked like they would leave with nothing before goalkeeper Lee Gibson, on her 50th Scotland appearance, headed up to launch a hopeful ball into the box. Howard got herself on the end of it to rescue a point for the Scots.
With England losing to The Netherlands, it means Belgium are at the top of League A but the point ensures Scotland have not been cast adrfit.
▶ Check out the latest original football content – including exclusive interviews, features and unique video content across Scottish, English and world football on PLZ Soccer YouTube HERE
Get Instant Access To The Latest Football News To Your Phone