Belfast Telegraph

Women's World Cup: Kerr fumes as Scots made to pay the penalty

Japan Women 2 Scotland Women 1

Damage done: Japan’s forward Yuika Sugasawa (right) celebrates after scoring a goal against Scotland yesterday
Damage done: Japan’s forward Yuika Sugasawa (right) celebrates after scoring a goal against Scotland yesterday

By Robert Jones

Scotland boss Shelley Kerr felt her side should have been awarded a penalty in the 2-1 Women's World Cup loss to Japan in Rennes.

As the Scots applied pressure late on, Erin Cuthbert appealed that Risa Shimizu had handled in the box but no spot-kick was given. When asked about the incident, Kerr said: "It's not a hard luck story but I've actually watched it back three times, and it's a penalty.

"There's no other comments to make on it, it's a penalty."

Scotland's second defeat in Group D followed a similar pattern to their first - the 2-1 loss to England five days earlier - with them going 2-0 down in the first half before improving after the break and pulling a goal back in the closing stages of the game.

Japan, the 2011 winners and 2015 runners-up who had been held to a 0-0 draw by Argentina in their opening game, took the lead in the 23rd minute at Roazhon Park via a Mana Iwabuchi strike as an error by Scotland captain Rachel Corsie was punished.

The advantage was then extended in the 37th minute by a penalty won and converted by Yuika Sugasawa, who went down in the box when Corsie put her hand on her shoulder.

Scotland's subsequent rally saw Cuthbert hit a post in the 78th minute, then have two penalty claims turned down before substitute Lana Clelland's fine strike made it 2-1 with two minutes of normal time remaining.

Scotland, who are at a Women's Word Cup finals for the first time, need to beat Argentina in their final group game on Wednesday to have a chance of progressing into the last 16.

Meanwhile, Cristiana Girelli's hat-trick and Aurora Galli's stunning strike helped Italy book their place in the World Cup last 16 with victory over Jamaica.

Juventus' Girelli made it 1-0 with a retaken penalty, after goalkeeper Sydney Schneider had saved the initial spot-kick but was then punished for prematurely moving off her line.

Girelli grabbed her second from close range and headed in Italy's third.

Substitute Galli added two more with a thunderous shot and composed finish.

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