Scotland were unable to salvage a point, despite some late pressure against Japan, where two mistakes in the first half leave their qualification hopes in the balance. After an incorrect offside decision went against Lisa Evans, an Iwabuchi goal gave Japan the lead, following a misplaced header from captain Rachel Corsie. Just 15 minutes after the first goal, Japan scored a second. A long ball over the Scottish defence saw Corsie pull down Sugasawa in the box leading to a penalty, with the latter cooly slotting into the bottom right corner. Lana Clelland pulled one back for Scotland late on, but it wasn’t to be. It’s a defining result for Scotland’s World Cup chances and here is how we rated their performances.
Lee Alexander - 6
Distribution was relatively poor but she made a few great saves and was not at fault for any of the goals.
Kirsty Smith - 5
Smith gave too much space to youngster Endo on that right side leading to a constant problem for the Scottish defence. However, anticipated Japanese balls well.
Rachel Corsie - 4
Gave away two goals following a missed placed header for the first and bringing down Sugasawa for the second. Her long balls played over the top came to nothing.
Jennifer Beattie - 5
Showed good strength in the heart of the defence, however, her poor positioning gave the Japanese team several chances on goal.
Hayley Lauder - 6
Making her 100th cap, her experience was shown by her confidence on the ball. However, Lauder was unable to make any of her attacking runs count.
Kim Little - 6
Smart turns on the ball helped find space for Scottish runs, however, none of them were able to come off. Little was forced to drop deep too many times so her technical ability was wasted on the game.
Caroline Weir - 5
Had to drop back in front of the Scottish defence as well because of the attacking onslaught from Japan, therefore no positive passes were made.
Erin Cuthbert - 7
Strong in the air and made intelligent attacking runs through the middle, Cuthbert was the only real stand out player in the Scottish team. Aside from Clelland’s late goal, she had one of their best chances of the game by hitting the post in the second half.
Lisa Evans - 5
Evans struggled to follow the runs of Sameshima from left back leading to an overlap on Scottish right-hand side.
Lizzie Arnot - 6
Great runs down the left gave the Scottish team hope with her skilful play. Unable to make any chance count however before being substituted early in the second half.
Jane Ross - 5
Ross struggled to make an impact in the game, with every touch on the ball intercepted immediately.
Claire Emslie - 6
Quick on the ball and gave plenty of energy to the left-hand side on the counter when she came on. Not able to create any clearcut chances despite this.
Lana Clelland - 7
Used her strength well to offload to oncoming teammates. Good anticipation helped saw her score a great dipping goal. Perhaps she should have come on earlier.
Fiona Brown - 5
Only touched the ball a couple of times during her brief spell on the pitch but seemed to make positive runs out on the wing.