A blistering second half performance was not enough for Scotland to take anything from their third match of the Women’s World League Semi-Finals in Brussels on Saturday
Italy went two goals up in the first half, but it was one-way traffic in the second half as co-captain Kareena Cuthbert and the Western Wildcats player's team-mates bravely battled to overturn the deficit.
They were defeated 2-1 in the end, but can still qualify for the quarter-finals of the tournament in Sunday's match against Korea.
The Scots were stung by an early goal from the first penalty corner of the match, Agata Wybieralska providing the finish.
A second goal for the Italians came when a a crash ball into the Scotland D was deflected home by Jasbeer Singh at the far post to double Italy’s advantage.
Scotland started to make good progress in the Italian half as the match progressed but were unable to create any clear chances.
In the second quarter their play had much more intensity and when they won a penalty corner the ball was set up by Sarah Robertson for Cuthbert whose delivery was deflected just wide.
Then, from a move on the right, the ball found its way goalward and Becky Merchant and Cuthbert both piled in to try and force the ball over the line, but Italy survived.
Scotland were then awarded another penalty corner after some excellent play by Howie prompted a foul. This time Cuthbert’s delivery was well deflected by Howie and Katie Holmes was on hand to finish from close range to bring her side back into the match.
The final quarter found Scotland on the attack again from the outset and from a penalty corner awarded for a foul on Cuthbert the routine was set up for Amy Costello who blasted the ball goal ward and found an Italian foot in the way.
It was all-out-attack in the final minutes and Scotland came so close to equalising with seconds remaining, but it was Italy who held on for the win despite the valiant Scottish effort.