Scotland contrived to find a new and even more agonising way to exit a World Cup as a double dose of VAR sent them spinning out of the tournament in France.
Shelley Kerr’s side appeared on course for the win they needed in their final Group D game as goals from Kim Little, Jennifer Beattie and Erin Cuthbert put them 3-0 up with 16 minutes remaining at the Parc des Princes. Qualification for the knockout stage was within Scotland’s grasp as one of the best third-placed finishers. But Argentina hit back through goals from substitute Milagros Menendez and Florencia Bonsegundo, who then scored a retaken penalty in stoppage time after her initial spot-kick had been saved to send the Scots home in the cruellest of circumstances.
The penalty had been awarded after substitute Sophie Howard’s tackle on Aldana Cometti with four minutes left was referred to the video assistant referee after the match referee had initially waved play on. Bonsegundo’s spot-kick was saved by Lee Alexander, but the VAR ordered a retake after ruling the goalkeeper had moved both feet off her goal line and the Argentine struck the equaliser.
Scotland coach Kerr, pictured, described some of the decisions as “appalling”.
“I’ve watched the penalty again and I’m not even sure after watching it numerous times,” she said. “Some of the decisions were appalling to say the least. There is a ball on the pitch and they play on, we try and make a substitution and we can’t, it’s just an absolute farce but it doesn’t take away the fact we were comfortable in the game and conceded three goals.
“I’m gutted for the players, gutted for the support but I have to say the officiating was really, really poor.”