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- Scotland 0-0 Argentina
- Fifa Women’s World Cup Group D
- Scotland aiming to progress after losing opening two group games
- Scotland must win to have hope of progression
- Kerr makes three changes as Docherty, Crichton and Emslie come in
BBC Scotland’s chief sports writer on Sportsound
Quote Message: Now it’s down to one game. The success or failure of this World Cup is resting on what happens against Argentina tonight. To take full advantage of this World Cup we need Scotland to win a game.
Now it’s down to one game. The success or failure of this World Cup is resting on what happens against Argentina tonight. To take full advantage of this World Cup we need Scotland to win a game.
The tempo is good from both sides, with the ball zipping around on the wet pitch and players snapping into tackles.
A very positive start from Scotland. Nicola Docherty swings in a dangerous cross, Argentina can only half clear and Erin Cuthbert skews a shot wide from 18 yards.
A peep of the whistle and we are up and running in Paris. How are the nerves?
Scotland head coach Shelley Kerrtold the BBC shortly before kick off: “It’s a big game for both teams. Both teams know they need to win.
“We need a defensive midfielder to allow Kim and Erin to link up further up. That was the thinking behind [playing Leanne Crichton]. We know whoever we put in will do a job.
“In tournament football you need a freshness. Claire [Emslie] is fresh enough to start. We need to take the game to Argentina. We have gone with an attacking line-up and hopefully it pays off.”
BBC Scotland Sport at Parc des Princes
Fans are still pretty dispersed in the Parc des Princes, where Fifa say they are expecting between 25,000-30,000 supporters for tonight’s Group D showdown.
Complaints have been made to organisers by members of the Tartan Army and the SFA – but it looks like supporters will be pretty well spread out around the stadium rather than grouped together.
No doubt they’ll make up for it when it comes to noise levels though…
Remember, Scotland are ranked 20th in the world, so there’s no disgrace at all in losing to England (3rd) and Japan (7th).
However, Argentina are 17 places below Scotland in the Fifa standings and that brings a different kind of pressure.
“This is a real test for us, a real challenge against a very competent defensive team,” added Shelley Kerr. “We need to make sure that we come up with the answers.
“They’re in the same position as us. If they want to get out the group, they need to win the game.
“They might be a wee bit more of an attacking threat than what they have been against England and Japan and that might suit us.”
With this test in mind, Scotland played tournament warm-up games against Chile and Brazil, drawing the former and famously winning the latter.
The teams are out. Neither in their first choice kit. Scotland in pink, Argentina in dark blue, which is a bit odd.
Some of the Argentina players are getting very emotional during the national anthems.
Scotland head coach Shelley Kerris not in the mood to be packing her suitcase just yet.
“It doesn’t get any better or any bigger a chance to have this last game with everything at stake,” she said at her media conference.
“We’re not ready to go home. The players feel that they haven’t performed maybe to their best. To get an opportunity to do that on the world stage, try and get a victory – that’s certainly what we’re going to set out to do and, if we can achieve that, it would be phenomenal for us as a nation.
“In both games, we’ve started well, but the mid-point in the game in the first half is really where it’s hurt us and that’s something that we need to rectify.”
This Scotland team has experience of getting over the line when the heat is on.
On their way to topping their qualifying group, Shelley Kerr’s side twice came from behind to beat Belarus and dug out a tense last-day win in Albania when it was required. But the biggest result came in Poland when they were trailing 2-0 with just 12 minutes remaining. They needed three goals and they found them in a dramatic finish.
“We’ve shown we can perform under pressure,” said defender Sophie Howard. “Our team fight until the end and I think this journey has not ended for us.”
This is an easy one, with a problematic answer. Who next, if Scotland get through?
Germany, ranked second in the world, winners of the World Cup in 2003 and 2007, and toppers of Group B with three wins and no goals conceded, lie in wait in Grenoble on 22 June.
Scotland have got a pretty useful playmaker of their own in Erin Cuthbert and the 20-year-old was full of fighting talk this week.
“This is going to be a different game,” said the Chelsea star. “With the first two we’ve had to be more defensive structurally, and you have to be more mindful of your defensive roles or else they’re going to hurt you.
“But Argentina pose a different threat – we might be able to get them to open up and create more spaces. And for us forward players and midfielders we might have better openings and be able to pick pockets out.
“It’s all about us players performing on the night as well. If we bring our A-game they aren’t going to be able to live with us.”
Estefania Banini is the player wearing the famous number 10 shirt for Argentina. No pressure then…
Playing on the left, the diminutive midfielder shone against Japan, with some lovely touches, but she couldn’t really get into the game against a more athletically robust England side.
The 28-year-old is likely to be the main source of danger this evening, although towering striker Sole Jaimes could prove a handful.
While the World Cup is a massive deal for the players in Shelley Kerr’s squad, it’s also a big moment for their families.
Our reporter Amy MacBeath caught up with Cathy and Tony, parents of Scotland and Manchester United full-back Kirsty Smith.
been a fantastic journey coming from Nice to Rennes and now in Paris. The fact
that my daughter has been playing has just been wonderful,” said the Scotland
defender’s mum. “When your daughter is out there playing for your country, it’s so
felt so nervous so can only imagine how Kirsty feels, but I had a wee tear in
my eye,” admitted dad, Tony. “When you hear Flower of Scotland, incredible.
We’re so proud of Kirsty and what she’s achieved and how she’s played.”
From a Scotland perspective, the famous Parc des Princes is perhaps the glowing beacon of hope for the Tartan Army that still shimmers 12 – yep, that’s right – 12 years on from the national side’s last visit there.
Alex McLeish, in his first stint as manager, took his side to face the World Cup runners up in their own back yard. Not many of you will need reminded James McFadden’s swirling thunderbolt found its way into the back of the net from 35 yards to give Scotland a famous victory.
However, that is not the last time a Scottish footballing side graced the home of Neymar & co.
In March 2015, Eddie Wolecki Black took his Glasgow City team to face PSG Feminine in the quarter-final of the Champions League, the furthest a Scottish team had ever progressed. Sadly, they lost 5-0 on the night and 7-0 on aggregate.
Of the players who played that night, Lee Alexander, Nicola Docherty, Hayley Lauder, Jo Love and Fiona Brown are all in the Scotland squad.
BBC Scotland Sport at Parc des Princes
Glasgow City duo Nicola Docherty and Leanne Crichton start tonight, perhaps to add a little more physicality to the Scotland side.
Left-back Docherty is among a number of the squad who have already played in this Parisian venue, representing the Scottish champions in the Champions League in 2015.
For Crichton, this is her World Cup debut but the midfielder – who will provide support in the middle between Caroline Weir and Kim Little – featured in all three Euro 2017 group games so has invaluable experience of tournament football.
The Hibs chief executive is settled in for the evening. TV coverage is starting right now on BBC Four and BBC Alba. You can also watch online by clicking the big button at the top of the page.
What should we expect from Argentina?
The South Americans earned their first ever World Cup point with a stuffy defensive display against Japan.
Again, they were well drilled and disciplined against England and goalkeeper Vanina Correa was inspired in a 1-0 loss.
They will need to be a bit more adventurous this evening but don’t anticipate a wild departure from the cautious tactics of head coach Carlos Borrello.
Okay, we’ve established that Scotland must win to finish third to be in with a shout of getting one of the two remaining places in the last 16.
With a current goal difference of -2, any kind of victory will take the Scots above Nigeria, the third best team in Group A with three points and a -2 goal difference.
In Group E, Cameroon and New Zealand are on zero points and both have -3 goal difference before they meet on Thursday, so a two-goal margin there could potentially threaten a triumphant Scotland.
In Group F, it’s a similar story with Chile and Thailand facing off looking for their first points. The South Americans are -5 in the goal difference stakes but the Thais have leaked 17 in their first two outings, so we can’t rule out a big score in that one.
It’s rarely straightforward with Scotland.