By 90Min
June 20, 2019

It was vastly differing fortunes for the home nations on matchday 13 of the Women's World Cup, with the Lionesses making it three wins out of three as Scotland's hopes of reaching the round of 16 were brought to a devastating end.

Group D reached a dramatic climax as Ellen White's double ensured England secured top spot with a 2-0 win over Japan, while Scotland's maiden World Cup campaign ended in heartbreak after VAR intervened to deny them what would have been likely progression to the knockout stages via a third-place spot.

England 2-0 Japan


In similar fashion to the men's team at last year's World Cup, England knew finishing in either first or second in their group would result in vastly differing routes to the final.

Lionesses' manager Phil Neville stated his side only had their sights set on victory over Japan, which in turn signalled a more difficult set of fixtures as the competition reaches the knockout stage.

A flying start to the game on Wednesday from England saw White net her second goal in as many games, clipping the ball over the onrushing Ayaka Yamashita after been fed through on goal from a wonderful pass from Georgia Stanway after 14 minutes.

Yamashita then made three fine saves in the aftermath of the opener, denying Neville's side from taking a healthy lead into half time. Neville heavily rotated his side despite saying he would name his strongest XI, with eight changes from their previous win over Argentina.

Nevertheless, England had the better of the opening exchanges and continued that control into the second half, before a degree of sloppiness entered their game as Japan got a foothold. It was set up for a nervy finish after Yuika Sugasawa poked wide with Karen Bardsley stranded but the clinical White had the final say.

Just as the game looked like heading for a grandstand finish, White fired in her second with a wonderfully taken goal as victory ensured they finished top of Group D with a 100% record. It does mean though, that the Lionesses' will now face one of the best third-place finishers in the last 16 - with hosts France and the USA now on the same side of the draw as them.

Scotland 3-3 Argentina

Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

Drama, drama, drama.

Scotland knew nothing but victory would do if they were to stand a chance of progressing to the last 16 via a third-place finish, and they began the match like a side determined, despite seeing Mariana Larroquette crash a header against the bar for Argentina.

Their response was swift and effective though, as Erin Cuthbert had the presence of mind to turn the ball back for the outstretched leg of Kim Little to tap home for the opener with 19 minutes gone.

Scotland held on for a first-half lead and doubled their advantage just four minutes after the restart when Jen Beattie headed thumped a header home from Caroline Weir's inswinging delivery. If the Scots weren't in control at this point, they certainly were with 20 minutes left as Cuthbert fired in a rebound after Vanina Correa had turned Leanne Crichton's header on to the post.

Unfortunately for Shelley Kerr's side, it all went horribly wrong from this point on. Milagros Menéndez found the back of the net five minutes later before Florencia Bonsegundo's long-range effort flew over Lee Alexander in net and went in via the goalkeeper's back.

The drama was not to end there though, as Aldana Cometti was tripped in the Scotland box and, after a lengthy VAR review, Hyang-Ok Ri pointed to the spot in stoppage time.

Alexander saved the resulting penalty to spark scenes of jubilation among the Scotland players and bench, only for another VAR review to take place that correctly judged the goalkeeper not to have had at least one foot touching the goal line when the kick was taken.

Bonsegundo was once again given the task of taking the spot kick and made no mistake from 12 yards this time around - with the 3-3 scoreline meaning neither side progressed to the World Cup knockout stages.

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