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Women’s World Cup: Scotland knocked out of competition after draw against Argentina

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Women's World Cup

Scotland drew 3-3 against Argentina in tonight’s Women’s World Cup match; Eve Hartley reports for Stylist

In an almost unbelievable end to a World Cup football match, Scotland lost their 3-0 lead and drew with Argentina, ending their hopes of qualifying for the next round of the competition.

The entire match was defined in the last minutes of the game, when trailing 3-2, Argentina were awarded a penalty from the VAR referees.

Scotland fans held their breath as the South American player Bonsegundo stepped up and shot the spotkick, but their prayers were answered when the ball was saved and pushed away by the hands of Scottish keeper Alexander.

But, despite the roars of the travelling Scots, the game wasn’t over yet, and another VAR call showed that Alexander was off her line as Bonsegundo stepped up to take the kick, breaking the match rules. So the referee ordered a retake of the penalty.

In what must be the most dramatic moment of the competition yet, Bonsegundo stepped up to the spot for the second time, and she wasn’t messing around. The Argentine converted the shot making the final score 3-3.

Only a couple of minutes were left in the game as the heartbroken Scottish team pushed forward to try and find a last-ditch winner. But it never came. 

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Despite a 2-1 loss against Japan on Friday, Scotland were hoping the momentum from their first ever World Cup goal, from substitute Lana Clelland, could drive them to push forward against Argentina.

The 88’ minute brace against Japan came after the Scottish striker capitalized on a defensive error from the opposition, leaving her with ample open space to curl the ball beautifully into the net.

Clelland’s effort against Japan didn’t land her in a place in the starting line-up against Argentina, but the Scots scored plenty of goals.

After 19 minutes Little opened the scoring for Scotland after a great passing build up, she was knocked the ball in the 6 yard box and drove it home.

The next goal came in the second half, as a confident looking Scotland upped their chances of getting through to the final 16 of the competition, after a brilliant header by Beattie.

To make it three, Cuthbert hit a rebound while standing open in the six yard box, cementing a 3-0 lead, and what the Scots thought would be their place in the next round.

While the Argentinian side had their goalkeeper Vanina Correa to thank for the 1-0 scoreline against a strong England squad last week, she put in a weaker performance against Scotland.

It was on 74 minutes when Argentina started to dim Scotland’s chances, pulling a goal back to make it 3-1. Substitute Menedez caught Scotland snoozing, and punished them after being played the ball in the box, by sliding the ball between the legs of goalie Alexander.

Just minutes after the South American team’s first goal, came a second. A long range effort from Bonsegundo, who was gifted possession from the opposition, hit the crossbar and bounced into the goal just over the line.

The match: decoded

The game was a tale of two halves for the Scots, who in the first looked confident and allowed their creative players to be open and connect for link up play. Their initial goal saw them take the lead for the first time in the World Cup, but it wasn’t enough for them to win.

Although disappointing for Scotland, it’s worth remembering three years ago the Argentine Football Association removed all funding from the team after they failed to qualify for the 2015 World Cup. So this will be a great result for them. 

Women's World Cup
Women’s World Cup: Scotland drew with Argentina in tonight’s match

Prior to the match the South American team ranked 17 spots lower than 20th-placed Scotland in the world rankings.

Football legend Alex Fergueson sent his message of support to Kerr ahead of their game, hoping to boost the morale of the team ahead of their match.

Kerr said at a pre-match press conference on Tuesday: “He’s watched both (games) and sent us a message before we came here.

“It’s absolutely brilliant for myself as a manager for him to contact me, and also for the players, for him to pass on his best wishes.”

As the final whistle blew an end to the dramatic game, both sets of players, who are now eliminated from the competition, looked puzzled when the North Korean referee Ri Hyang-ok didn’t allow for extra time to compensate for the added VAR decisions.

Scotland will be looking to blame someone after the match, but it can’t be the VAR retake, as prior to the first spotkick the ref specifically instructed Alexander she needed to have at least one foot on the line. 

Images: Getty