With just one defeat in eight games, Scotland finished group winners ahead of Switzerland. Erin Cuthbert, Jane Ross and Kim Little were hugely influential in-front of goal as the side claimed seven wins to book their place at the finals that would be held in France.
As at EURO 2017, Scotland would open the tournament with a match against England in Nice. Despite conceding twice before half-time, Scotland responded in the right way in the second half and halved the deficit when Claire Emslie scored with just over 10 minutes remaining. However, Phil Neville's side held on for the victory, but the confidence from pushing their rivals so close was a huge boost for the side as they approached the second group game against Japan in Rennes. However, another 2-1 defeat followed with Lana Clelland scoring a late consolation.
The third match would take place at the Parc des Princes in Paris as Scotland faced Argentina in what would be one of the most controversial games in the history of the Scottish national team. Despite the pressure, goals from Kim Little, Jennifer Beattie and Erin Cuthbert handed Scotland a commanding three goal lead with just over 20 minutes remaining. However, Argentina came back into the game through substitute Milagros Menéndez and an own goal from goalkeeper Lee Alexander, and were awarded a penalty in the final moments when Sophie Howard was adjudged by VAR to have fouled Aldana Cometti.
Incredibly, Alexander saved from Florencia Bonsegundo, and Scotland believed the game had been won. However, VAR intervened and adjudged that Alexander had come off her line before the ball had been struck. Bonsegundo composed herself and converted her second spot-kick to leave Scotland bottom of the group as the final whistle blew on the 3-3 draw.
“It’s quite hard right now,” said Scotland manager Shelley Kerr after the match. “Obviously we were 3-0 up and looking quite comfortable. Their first goal changed the whole complexion. For 70 minutes we were very good and we didn’t manage to see the game out, but at this moment in time we feel very hard done by. It’s very difficult to comment right now, but I think there were certainly a few decisions again which didn’t go our way. This is a World Cup and you need the officials to make the right calls and I think there were a few that went against us.
“It’s bitterly disappointing. But saying that we should still manage the game. We’ll not take away that fact, but yes, bitterly disappointing. My emotions – I need to spend a bit of time with the players. We’re all devastated. We put so much into this game. Unfortunately we conceded three goals. It’s very tough right now. It’s still very raw. We need to pick up the players, because we put everything into that game.”