- England see off Japan to top Group D
- Three late goals see Argentina split points with Scotland
- Reaction and more: #JPNENG & #SCOARG Live Blogs
There was no shortage of drama to close out Group D at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ on Wednesday night, particularly at the Parc des Princes.
It was there in Paris where Scotland and Argentina battled to a 3-3 stalemate that began with Scotland piling up a three-goal advantage. Erin Cuthbert’s 69th-minute strike appeared to cement her side’s first-ever Women’s World Cup win until La Albiceleste clawed their way back into the tie and the tournament. Florencia Bonsegundo’s converted penalty four minutes into second half stoppage time tilted the scales completely, eliminating Scotland while keeping Argentina’s hopes of advancing alive.
Over in Nice, the Lionesses powered past Japan 2-0 thanks to a goal in each half from Ellen White. England finish the group phase with three wins for the first time ever and managed to exact some payback on the Nadeshiko in the process, who were responsible for their semi-final exit at Canada 2015.
Team reporter analysis
Ai Yoshiizumi (JPN)
There was a definite difference between the two sides in terms of tempo and strength, the former being something the Nadeshiko will need to work on before their knockout game. The team’s performance improved after the break, but they also conceded a second goal. It wasn’t a totally negative performance, but there’s plenty to ponder for head coach Asako Takakura.
Laure James (ENG)
England were tested all over the park by Japan in the first half and Ellen White’s rolled finish – expertly provided by the hard-working Georgia Stanway – took the heat off Phil Neville’s troops. Japan lacked ruthlessness in front of goal, sparing England any blemishes when they lost possession. Neville’s eight changes offered fresh energy and a formidable strength through the wide and central areas. Stanway and Rachel Daly shone, while the experience in defence kept England’s noses in front. Against the run of play, White’s second showed the centre-forward’s tenacity and skill. One thing’s for sure: any doubt over whether the demons of Canada 2015 had been buried should be erased.
Aileen Larkin (SCO)
Though tonight Scotland recorded their first ever point at a World Cup – undoubtedly an important achievement for the team and their country – disappointment will be the prevailing sentiment as they exit the World Cup by giving up a three-goal lead to Argentina in the second half. We saw a much better attacking performance from the squad, whose communication throughout the match allowed them to play the physical football that the fans all know they are capable of.
Diego Zandrino (ARG)
La Albiceleste end the group phase with their heads held high after mounting a furious second-half comeback to finish 3-3 against Scotland. Mili Menendez and Florencia Bonsegundo created the danger for Argentina, contributing to three goals in the final sixteen minutes and stoppage time of the match. The point earned is a vital one, and keeps them clinging to hopes of advancing to the Round of 16.