Full-time: Japan 0-2 England; Scotland 3-3 Argentina
As England see out a 2-0 win that confirms their first-placed finish in the group with maximum points, Scotland’s players crumple to the pitch in Paris, where they’ve lost a three-goal lead and a potential place in the next round. The denouement in their match was farcical, with Argentina equalising through a retaken penalty and the referee then blowing the final whistle without adding on as much time as Scotland expected. What a bitter, perplexing way to go out. England, meanwhile, can have concerns about the scrappiness of some of their play but that’s small beer compared to Scotland’s woe.
90+3 min:Bonsegundo converts the retaken penalty to make it Scotland 3-3 Argentina! The Scots were three goals up and now they need to produce something even more freakish that what we’ve already seen to snatch a winner.
90+2 min: No sentence is ever truly finished in the age of Var … Scotland’s lead may not be intact, after all, because the penalty has to be retaken! Apparently Alexander strayed off her line before making the save….
90+1 min: Argentina’s penalty … is saved by Alexander, who gets up to block the rebound too! Scotland’s lead is intact!
90 min+1 : A wonderful pass with the outside of the boot by Iwabuchi brings Bardlsey hurtling off her line again to make a critical interception. Meanwhile, Argentina are preparing to take a penalty in Paris …
88 min: As Scotland fans hold their breath in Paris because the referee is checking Var to see whether Argentina should be awarded a penalty, Japan go close to scoring in Nice. Bardsley makes a fine save to deny Sugasawa after England were cut open again.
85 min: Iwabuchi, Japan’s most inventive player, tries to beat Bardsley from 20 yards. Nothing doing.
GOAL! Japan 0-2 England (White 84)
That settles it! The recently arrived Carney slips a tidy pass through to White, who finishes clinically from 16 yards!
England substitution: Parris on, Duggan off after a quiet first appearance in the tournament.
83 min: Samashima clips a dainty ball in from the left. Bardlsey comes to intercept but Sugasawa beats her to it at the near post … and pokes it just wide! “Watching England I feel that Phil Neville has adopted his own England coach Sven Goran Eriksson’s first half good second half not so good approach,” parps Marty. “They are desperately hanging on here, aren’t they?” They are, but, in fairness, their first half had ropey spells, too.
81 min: England are haning on here, grateful that Japan don’t have the potency around the box to match their nimble build-ups. Meanwhile in Paris, Argentina are threatening a comeback to sicken Scotland. Having been three goals down, they’ve just cut the deficit to 3-2 …
78 min: Sugasawa does well to take down a long pass from the right on her chest and then spanks the bouncing ball just over the bar from inside the D.
76 min: England are carved open! Iwabuchi took a pass on the turn in the pocket between England’s midfield and defence. Then she threaded a perfect pass through to Sugasawa… who failed to take it under control when she only had the keeper to beat! That’s a mighty let-off for England.
74 min: Argentina have pulled a goal back against Scotland, who now only lead 3-1.
England substitution: Carney on, Stanway off after a bright performance.
73 min: More wonky play by England in midfield allows the ball to pop out to Sugasawa, who tries a snapshot from 20 yards. Her low fizzer is saved comfortably by Bardsley.
England substitution: Moore on, Walsh off. A good decision by Neville, as Walsh’s passing under pressure was ropey.
70 min: England have lost their way again. Meanwhile, Scotland are roared into a 3-0 lead against Argentina, with Cuthbert hitting the latest following goals by Beattie and Little. If things stay the same there, only a preposterous series of results tomorrow will deny Scotland a place in the next round. Such misfortune couldn’t possibly befall Scotland footballers, could it?
68 min: Not for the first time, Walsh is caught in possession just in front of her own defender. But England rally sufficiently to force Japan backwards. Still, Japan are starting to become bothersome to them again.
66 min: A vital, impeccably timed tackle by Houghton thwarts Sugasawa as the substitute tried to wriggle into a shooting position in the English box.
64 min: Japan half-clear a long throw-in into their area. Stanway latches on to it about 25 yards out and tries to return the bouncing ball into the net. It flies wide of the near post.
Japan substitutions: Miura and Sugasawa on, Yokoyama and Kobayashi off
59 min: That’s better from England! Daly bounds down the right and then spots Bronze coming up on the underlap, so she loops a smart pass into the full-back’s path. Bronze curls a cross towards the back post, slightly behind Duggan, who manages to adjust and wrap her foot around a volley. But it’s not as sweet a connection as she would have liked and she fires it into the ground, allowing Yamashita to make another decent save to stop the ball bouncing into the net.
56 min: Shoddy play by England at the back, as Bright shonks a pass intended for Bronze straight out of play. Neville immediately tells his subs to go warm up: either because he’s about to make a change or to a warning to the players on the pitch that he doesn’t want this performance to slip back into the sloppiness that broke out mid-way through the first half. Their strong start to the second period is starting to crumble …
54 min: Duggan nicks the ball off the foot of Nakajima just as the Japanese forward wound up a shot at the edge of the English box.
52 min: Stanway does well to nick the ball off Shimizu wide on the left as Japan tried to play their way out from the back. That’s symptomatic of the improvement in England since the break: they have been much sharper and more forceful, pushing Japan back and refusing to let them find any kind of passing groove.
50 min: Scotland have gone 2-0 up against Argentina thanks to a goal by Beattie. That does a power of good to their hopes of reaching the knockout stages as one of the best third-placed countries.
49 min: Daly dances in from the right as England continue to dominate. Her cross provokes havoc in the box, and Japan are eventually greatful to get the ball out for a corner.
47 min: England have started the second period as if instructed to be more assertive. Their passing is crisper and their running purposeful and powerful. Japan are starting to creak …
46 min: All set for Act II. No changes by either side during the break.
Half-time: Japan 0-1 England
England are on course for top spot in the group thanks to White’s well-taken goal, which was well created by Stanway. They’ve had chances to increase their leads but been denied by fine goalkeeping; but they were were worried as the half progressed by the way Japan started to outplay them with snappy passing, albeit without creating clear chances. There’s plenty of work to be done yet…
43 min: Scott’s holds off her market as she receives a throw-in on the right and then hooks a cross into the middle. But the goalkeeper steps out to claim it.