(Reuters) – Scotland must “bring their A-game” to their final group stage match of the women’s World Cup against Argentina on Wednesday if they are to have any hope of reaching the last-16, coach Shelley Kerr has said.
World Cup debutants Scotland are bottom of Group D after defeats by Japan and England, but victory over Argentina in Paris could help guide them into the knockout rounds as one of the four best third-placed teams.
The stakes are as high for Argentina, who have one point so far and will be guaranteed a spot in the last-16 if they beat the Scots, and Kerr wants her players to take the game to their opponents.
“We have to be more attacking against Argentina and they will have to at some point as well,” she told a news conference on Tuesday.
“It’s something we’ve been good at throughout the campaign to get us here. And I’ve no doubt that our players are prepared well enough and (if they) bring their A-game, I’m sure it will be a positive result for us.”
With England and Japan both ranked in the world’s top 10, Kerr said 20th-ranked Scotland knew their chances of reaching the knockout rounds would rest on the game against Argentina, who are 17 places below them in the world rankings.
“Not in a negative way, but we probably planned to be in this position,” the 49-year-old added. “We were hopeful we’d have taken something from those first two games but realistic that it would probably come down to the Argentina game.”
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings)