Date: Thursday 14th June
Venue: Roazhon Park, Rennes
Scotland went into their second group game against Japan full of confidence and hope that they can take another step towards progression from the knock out stages. Sadly they fluffed their lines and went down 2-1 to a pair of soft first-half goals.
Shelley Kerr’s side failed to create anything of any note in the first half and it was Japan’s Mana Iwabuchi blasted a shot past goalkeeper Lee Alexander on 22 minutes. The Scotland keeper was partially unsighted but will be annoyed to have let the shot go through her without even getting a hand to it.
Japan were dominating the game and after a ball over the top, Rachel Corsie was judged to have pulled down Yuika Sugasawa. She dusted herself off to take the spot kick, sending Alexander the wrong way to put her side 2-0 up.
The second half was generally dull affair with Japan happy to soak up Scotlands pressure.
The introduction of Claire Emslie and Lana Clelland changed the tide and Scotland began to look dangerous.
It was Clelland who pulled one back with a powerful long-range finish of her own.
This is the defeat leaves Scotland bottom of the table without a point. All hope isn’t lost as they have a chance to go through to the knockouts as one of the four best third-placed sides but they must win, and win well in their final game against Argentina. if they are to have a chance of making the knock-out stage as.
Japan showed that they aren’t a spent force and anyone who has written them off may have to re-think their assessment.
Scotland: Alexander, Smith, Corsie, Beattie, Lauder, Little, Weir, Cuthbert, Evans, Arnott, Ross.
Japan: Yamashita, Shimizu, Kumagai, Ichise, Sameshima, Nakajima, Miura, Sugita, Endo, Sugasawa, Iwabuchi