England top Group D in the Women's World Cup as Scotland collapse against Argentina and finish bottom.
England took on the 2011 Women's World Cup winners Japan on Wednesday night. The Lionesses new a win would leave them top of the group with three wins out of three for the first time ever. It was going to be a tough game as Japan are a good side. A win though would see England draw an easier opponent from one of the other groups in the next round.
England Women vs Japan Women
Phil Neville's side got off to a good start. Ellen White broke the deadlock on the 14th minute, dinking a ball over the keeper into the empty net. As it stood England would go through as group winners. Japan though didn't sit back and forced several good saves out of Bardsley.
England kept up the pressure and it paid off again. White doubling her tally and her sides lead with a from the edge of the box into the bottom left corner. The Lionesses managed to see out the rest of the game and it finished 2-0, with White unsurprisingly named Player Of The Match.
This was the fifth win out of five final group game matches at a World Cup for England. They are the only side who have a 100% win ratio of their final group game.
Let's hope England U21's can perform like The Lionesses in their European U21 Championships campaign.
Scotland vs Argentina
This was a must-win game for Scotland who had lost their first two games in the competition. A win could have potentially seen them finish as the best third-placed team and get through in that way.
Scotland, like England, got off to a flying start. Little opened the scoring on the 19th minute after she managed to guide in a cross from the left-hand side. They then doubled their lead after half time with a brilliant header from Beattie who was unmarked in the 6-yard box. The game should have then been put to bed in the 69th minute. Cuthbert smashed the ball into an empty net and by the celebrations, you could tell they thought this game was done.
However, Argentina wasn't done yet! A lapse of concentration at the back saw Menendez through one on one with the keeper as she slotted it into the net. There were 15 minutes left and this was Argentina's first goal of the campaign, surely they couldn't get two more?!
A big stroke of luck saw Argentina get their second. A shot from 25 yards out hitting the bar coming now and hitting the back of Alexander in goal and the ball rolled just over the line. With 10 minutes to go, Scotland was just going to have to sit back and defend.
And then with minutes left on the clock, Scotland gave away a penalty. Bonsegundo stepped up and took the penalty but Alexander was the hero this time and saved it. However, VAR then intervened and said she wasn't stood on the line when the penalty was taken which meant it had to be retaken. On the 94th minute, Bonsegundo retook the penalty and this time made no mistake and sent Scotland home!
Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr said after the game that the some of the decisions were appalling from the officials and we don't disagree!
Women's World Cup Odds
England are now through to the last 16 where they will meet Cameroon. The USA are still the favourites though to win the World Cup on Bet365 at 7/4. England are only the fourth favourites for the competition, even though they won all three of their group games. Bet365 have them priced at 8/1.