Nice: Two goals by Ellen White saw England beat Japan 2-0 and secure top spot in their group at the women’s World Cup on Wednesday, but Scotland were eliminated from the tournament in dramatic, heartbreaking fashion.
England were already through to the last 16 before facing the former winners Japan in Nice, yet White’s double allowed them to clinch first place in Group D with a maximum nine points.
“We’ve got another clean sheet, we’ve won another game, we’ve played three and won three, and we’re just where we want to be, in the last 16, and ready to attack the business end of the tournament,” said England coach Phil Neville.
Scotland looked to be going through as one of the best third-placed sides when Erin Cuthbert’s 69th-minute goal put them 3-0 up at Parc des Princes in Paris.
But strikes from Milagros Menendez and then Florencia Bonsegundo set up a grandstand finale. With two minutes left, after an agonising VAR review, Argentina were handed a penalty. Lee Alexander saved Bonsegundo’s tame first effort, but VAR caught the goalkeeper straying off her line and the Argentine converted her second effort in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
The draw left Scotland on one point, bottom of Group D and eliminated.
“We gave it our all for 70 minutes of the game. We were very good but we didn’t manage to see the game out, but at this moment in time we feel hard done by,” said Scotland’s disconsolate coach, Shelley Kerr.
“There were certainly a few decisions again that didn’t go our way.
“This is a World Cup and you need the officials to make the right calls. It is really bitterly disappointing.”