As a celebration of the progress the Scotland women’s football team has made in recent years and as a send-off for next month’s World Cup, this friendly was an unequivocal success.
Before the Hampden Park clash with Jamaica, 4,098 was the biggest crowd at a home game for the national team. That bar has been raised to 18,555.
The Scots are winning over their own folk and they will win over plenty more by time their campaign in France is over on this showing.
There were two stunning long range goals to cheer and plenty of near things in a hugely entertaining and encouraging 90 minutes.
The scoreline suggested this was a close contest between two sides going to the World Cup but Scotland were a class above and should have won by a greater margin.
There were a couple of defensive lapses that were clinically punished by Jamaica – a warning which may prove to be no bad thing heading into the June 9 competition opener against England in Nice.
But Phil Neville’s tournament favourites won’t roll over Shelley Kerr’s team.
There are some star turns in attack and midfield who make their living in the English Women’s Super League and are at the top of their game.
From the first whistle it was clear to see the brand of football coach Kerr will want her team to bring to the finals.
The Scots were straight into a slick passing rhythm, with Dunfermline-born midfielder Caroline Weir at the heart of it.
They chose the wrong part of the pitch to knock the ball about on 15 minutes, however, and conceded the opening goal as a consequence.
A triangle of passes was broken up just outside their own box and Khadija Shaw’s fierce 18-yard shot gave keeper Lee Alexander no chance.
Straight from re-start Scotland were nearly back on level terms after they won a corner on the left.
Kim Little’s inswinger fell nicely for Weir, whose well-struck left foot shot was deflected just past the front post.
Manchester City’s Weir came even closer on 23 minutes when a dipping 25-yarder produced a fine save from Jamaican goalie Sydney Schneider.
It was one-way traffic by this stage and an exquisite cushioned pass from Jane Ross put Little in on goal. Her shot was at a good height and angle for Schneider, though.
Scotland only had to wait a few more seconds for an equalising goal.
Erin Cuthbert picked the ball up in midfield and, after driving forward unchallenged, decided to let fly from 25 yards out and beat Schneider high to her left.
Five minutes later it was 2-1. Cuthbert was tripped just outside the box and from the free-kick Weir’s wand of a left foot did the rest.
Jamaica had drifted out of the game as an attacking threat but they did have a near thing in the last minute of the first half when Cheyna Matthews found space down the right and fired a ball across goal that, fortunately for the hosts, didn’t find a striker.
Both coaches made a few changes for the second half and one of the Scottish substitutes, centre-back Sophie Howard, got caught cold four minutes after the restart.
As a simple short pass was played to her she was dispossessed and Shaw had a long and free run into the box, lifting the ball over Alexander to make it 2-2.
Scotland were back in control soon after. In the first period they were at their most dangerous on the left hand side but now they were getting joy down the right.
Kirsty Smith showed lovely footwork to cut inside her opposing full-back after being released by Weir and her cross to the back post aimed at Lizzie Arnot was a good one. It was cut out by a Jamaican centre-back before it could reach the substitute, though.
Shortly after the hour mark Perth’s Lisa Evans was next to hit the byeline after playing a one-two with Cuthbert. But she was off balance when she tried to shoot from an acute angle.
The Arsenal wide player was becoming a real danger and she was unlucky not to win her team a penalty when a 69th minute cross struck a Jamaican hand.
It mattered not. From the corner that was awarded Howard rose tallest at the back post and her looping header found the net.
With time running out, Kayla McCoy saw a low shot well saved by Alexander but Scotland saw out the game comfortably and got the pre-World Cup result they wanted.
Scotland starting XI – Alexander, Smith, Docherty, Corsie, Beattie, Little, Weir, Evans, Ross, Emslie, Cuthbert.
Jamaica XI – Schneider, Chantel Swaby, Plummer, Solaun, Sweatman, Shaw, Blackwood, Bond-Flasza, Allyson Swaby, Carter, Matthews.
Referee – Cheryl Foster (Wales).