There were only two games on tap during Wednesday’s Women’s World Cup action, but it certainly didn’t lack in any drama, as VAR showed its ugly side.
Here’s a roundup of what went down in Nice and Paris.
[2019 Women’s World Cup: Marta sets record, Kerr scores again]
England 2-0 Japan
Forward Ellen White scored a brace for the Three Lions as it completed a perfect run through the group stage, beating Japan, 2-0 in the final group stage match. England dominated the match throughout, as Japan looked a shell of the nation that made it to the last two World Cup finals.
Phil Neville employed the Three Lions to use a high press and it worked, constantly forcing Japan into turnovers, one of which set up the opener.
Georgia Stanway used a nice turn, change of pace and strength to hold off her defender before finding White in space. White beat Japan’s offside trap before dinking a shot past Japan’s Ayaka Yamashita.
Yuka Sugasawa gave Japan some life in the second half with her introduction in the 61st minute, but White scored her second goal of the match in the 84th minute to basically put the match away.
With the win, England moves on to the knockout round and will face the third place team from Groups B/E/F on Sunday. Japan meanwhile will face the winners of Group E, likely either Canada or the Netherlands.
Argentina 3-3 Scotland
Argentina completed an historic comeback over Scotland, scoring three goals in the final 20 minutes plus stoppage time of the match at the Parc des Princes in Paris to draw, 3-3, knocking Scotland out of the tournament.
VAR played a big role late, as Argentina were awarded a penalty kick and then given a re-take after Lee Alexander jumped off her line before making the save.
Amazingly, Scotland was up 3-0 heading into the 70th minute and were cruising towards victory. Kim Little scored the opener in the 19th minute off a pass from Erin Cuthbert after Vanina Correa had already denied Cuthbert. Scotland than scored twice more in the second half off corner kicks, the first on the second phase with a header from Jenny Beatty and the second on the loose ball in front of goal by Cuthbert.
Argentina then began its incredible comeback in the 74th minute with Milagros Menéndez side-footing home. Florencia Bonsegundo helped get Argentina’s second with a terrific curling effort that caromed off Lee Alexander and in for a goal.
The drama increased as just before the 90th minute, Aldana Cometti was brought down in the box. Initially, the referee RI Hyang Ok of North Korea did not rule a penalty kick but after going to the VAR, Hyang Ok changed her mind and awarded a penalty.
Yet, just like on Monday between France and Nigeria, the goalkeeper was the hero as Alexander made the initial penalty kick save and then saved the rebound from Bonsegundo. Seconds later, after another VAR consultation, it was shown that Alexander jumped off the line before the shot, leading to another controversial re-take.
This time, Bonsegundo didn’t miss and Argentina came away with a wild point.
With only two points, Argentina needs Cameroon-New Zealand and Chile-Thailand to both finish in draws in order for Argentina to advance. Unfortunately for Scotland, it’s the end of the road in harsh fashion.
Thursday’s Women’s World Cup schedule
Netherlands v. Canada — 12 p.m. ET
Cameroon v. New Zealand — 12 p.m. ET
Sweden v. USA — 3 p.m. ET
Thailand v. Chile — 3 p.m. ET