Gunners’ starring roles as England go top
Lionesses win – but Scotland bow out
20 June, 2019 — By Steve Barnett
Scotland boss and ex-Gunner Shelley Kerr
THERE were cheers and tears in France last night (Wednesday) as the Women’s World Cup reached fever pitch.
England rewrote the history books with a 2-0 victory over Japan that means the Lionesses win their first three games and top their group at a World Cup for the very first time.
However, there was heartache for Scotland after a twice-taken penalty in the final seconds of their match against Argentina resulted in them being knocked out of the tournament.
Arsenal’s past and present played a part in a dramatic night of football.
With 14 minutes gone on the clock at the Allianz Riviera in Nice, former Gunners striker Ellen White collected an exquisite pass from Georgia Stanway before delicately lifting the ball beyond the onrushing goalkeeper to give England the lead.
And White wrapped up the win late on with her second of the game, adding the finishing touches to a pass from another ex-Arsenal player, Karen Carney.
“We showed a lot of resilience and togetherness, and defended really well,” said match-winner White after the final whistle. “We’re probably not very happy with the performance but ultimately we wanted three wins out of three and we achieved that. Now we will go through to the round of 16 with a lot of confidence and a lot of momentum.”
Meanwhile, at the Parc des Princes in Paris, Kim Little sent the Scottish fans into a frenzy when she opened the scoring. The Arsenal captain was left with a simple tap-in from six yards after Erin Cuthbert, who had seen her initial shot well saved by Argentina goalkeeper Vanina Correa, hooked the rebound across the face of goal.
Jen Beattie, who returned to Arsenal for a second spell just before the start of the World Cup, doubled the Tartan Army’s lead when she headed home Caroline Weir’s inch-perfect cross.
Cuthbert looked to have sent Shelley Kerr’s side through to the knockout stages when she made it 3-0 with just over 20 minutes left on the clock.
But in a frantic finish Milagros Menendez and Florencia Bonsegundo reduced Argentina’s arrears to just one goal.
And in the final seconds a VAR-awarded spotkick taken by Bonsegundo was saved by Lee Alexander.
But as Scotland celebrated, the referee pointed to the spot again after ruling Alexander had come off her line when making the save.
This time Bonsegundo found the back of the net to square the score at 3-3 and send the Scots home.