As Scotland’s World Cup ambitions teeter on the edge of elimination, Shelley Kerr attempted to allay fears by insisting these were the results she had planned for all along.
Scotland have started their first ever World Cup campaign with two losses from their two opening matches against England and Japan. Both times they went into the break 2-0 down, and both times they were on the comeback trail, having salvaged a goal, when the final whistle blew.
Scotland’s final Group D tie against Argentina on Wednesday is now a must-win to have any hope of achieving their aim of progressing to the knock-outs, but Kerr says she anticipated this scenario as the most likely before the tournament even began.
“I’d say the Argentina game was always going to be the big one for us,” she said. “I’m not going to lie, I was hoping to get something out [of the first two matches], a point maybe. It wasn’t to be for us.
“There’s still a chance for us to get out of the group, I’m so positive about it.”
What she might not have anticipated is the danger posed by Argentina. As a team who just a year ago were not sure they would make the tournament and whose ranking was unclassified after they did not play a single match between 2015 and 2017, they are easily the group underdogs.
However their showing in France so far has surpassed expectations. At their last World Cup 12 years ago they lost 6-1 to England, but on Friday that deficit was reduced to 1-0. Combine that with their gutsy draw in their opener against Japan, and Argentina are a much more formidable prospect than Scotland might have initially imagined.
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