HELPING steer Scotland Women to their first World Cup was “by far the best moment of my life”, said talented Irvine footballer Erin Cuthbert.

The team beat Albania 2-1 in Shkoder, bettering the result of Switzerland, who drew 0-0 in Poland at the same time.

This helped them make history by qualifying for their first ever FIFA World Cup, to be held in France next year.

Chelsea striker Cuthbert said: “There are times in a campaign when you are up against a wall and trying to score and it isn’t working out for you.

“But champions find a way to win and we did that. Every single one of these girls deserves to go to the World Cup. This is by far the best moment of my life.”

The 20-year-old admitted she had “not a clue” about what was happening in Poland, where group leaders Switzerland were being held to a goalless draw to hand the Scots their opportunity.

“It was stressing me right out. We just had to concentrate on the task in hand. At 2-1 it was still tight and there was always a chance they would get a breakaway like they did in the first half. We had to stay completely focused but when the girls came running on, I just collapsed to my knees and started crying.

“It has been a crazy campaign but we deserve this. “These girls have been absolutely excellent the full campaign. They are all my best friends and I want to do everything for them on the pitch. I have got a black eye to show for that!

“I would run through a brick wall for these girls and they would for me.

“Nobody deserves this more than us.”

Scotland head coach, Shelley Kerr, said: “It’s not often I’m lost for words but I’m really emotional.

“The whole week has been draining, for the players and the staff. We’ve done it the hard way during the campaign but we’ve shown great maturity and determination to succeed.

“These moments don’t come along too often, it’ll take a while for it to sink in that we’re off to our first World Cup.”

Scotland captain, Rachel Corsie added: “At the final whistle it was hard to know what to do. It was just an incredibly surreal feeling. The girls deserve it as there’s been so many key moments in this campaign.”