Scotland suffered their second World Cup defeat in a row yesterday as they lost 2-1 to Japan. Former USA goalkeeper Hope Solo was among those who criticised Shelley Kerr’s tactics during the game.
“Hats off to the Scottish players because there were some great individual efforts, but it was too little, too late and the verdict is still out tactically,” said Solo while on BBC punditry duties.
“What changed the game was putting fresh legs on the field and, for me, that’s not tactics. That’s just putting fresh legs on the field,” she continued. “They have to lift their heads up because, ultimately, they did make an improvement, but when you have two of the top players in Erin Cuthbert and Kim Little and they’re not connecting on the field, I don’t understand it.
In a post-game interview, Shelley Kerr defended her tactics saying that she thought her side played “much better” in the second period of the game.
We were always a threat going forward,” she said. “We’ve just played another quality team. We made a couple of errors – take the errors out from the first half and you’re going in perhaps 0-0 and that gives you a chance.”
Kerr also stated how she though her side were denied “a clear penalty” when the ball struck the arm of Risa Shimizu as she dispossessed Erin Cuthbert. Bizarrely, the referee didn’t even stop the game for a VAR check.
All hope is not yet lost for the Scots as they have one last game against Argentina. If they win, they could go through to the knockout stage of the tournament as one of the four best third placed teams. However, performances against England and Japan proved Argentina are no walkover.
“Argentina once again showed what a well-organised side they are and England proved it is difficult to break them down,” said Kerr. “Nothing changes for us following the result. We need to beat Argentina to give us a chance, which is a scenario we’ve had in our heads since the draw was made.”
What do you think? Was Hope Solo correct in her criticism or was she too harsh on Shelley Kerr? Have your say below!