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Argentina 3 (Menendez 74, Alexander og 79, Bonsegundo pen 90)>
Scotland 3 (Little 19, Beattie 49, Cuthbert 69)
Argentina 3 (Menendez 74, Alexander og 79, Bonsegundo pen 90)
Scotland's World Cup dream suffered the cruellest of exits as a retaken injury time penalty gave Argentina a late draw and eliminated both teams as a result.
Once more, VAR was left as the main talking point as Lee Alexander was adjudged to have moved off her line when saving the initial kick, but also the almost complete lack of injury time action due to the VAR checks, with a poor official not adding on any more time and denying both teams a chance of a winning goal which would have kept them in the tournament.
Most of all, Shelley Kerr and her players will reflect on a disastrous last sixteen minutes which saw Argentina claw back a three-goal deficit after Scotland seemed to have the game in the bag.
Unlike their previous two games, Scotland started the game on the front foot but it was Argentina who nearly took the lead when Florencia Bonsegundo's cross was headed against the bar by Mariana Larroquette.
Two minutes later though, Erin Cuthbert did well to break into the area and fire in a shot which Vanina Correa saved, but Cuthbert reacted quickest to cut the ball back for Kim Little to slide home the opening goal.
Scotland went into half time with their one-goal lead and were given a dream start to the second half when, after a corner had been cleared back to her, Caroline Weir whipped in a teasing cross and Jennifer Beattie powered a firm header past Correa for the second.
Cuthbert went close when her shot was tipped wide by Correa but the striker was not to be denied, following up to score after Leanne Crichton's header had come back off the post.
Argentina had surprisingly brought on Milagros Menendez for talented captain Estefania Banini but the substitution proved to be a fruitful one as she latched onto a pass from Dalila Ippolito to slide the ball past Alexander and reduce the arrears.
Suddenly, just five minutes later, the anxiety increased for Scotland when a strike from Bonsegundo hit the bar and went in off Alexander, putting the match back in the balance.
Argentina piled forward for the equaliser but Scotland clung on until controversy reared its head in the dying minutes. First, play was waved on as Argentina quickly took a free kick as Fiona Brown was coming on as a late substitute, then after Sophie Howard's challenge on Aldana Cometti was adjudged to have been a good one, VAR then intervened to rule that it was a penalty.
The penalty decision was undoubtedly a correct one but then, Alexander pulled off an excellent save from Bonsegundo. She was mobbed by her team mates but joy turned to despair as she was ruled to have moved off her line by the slenderest of margins and, from the retake, Bonsegundo kept her cool to send Alexander the wrong way and level the scores.
More controversy was to follow as the referee refused to allow any more stoppage time despite the six-minute delay over the penalty and beat a hasty retreat off the pitch, leaving two heartbroken teams to realise what happened and that any chance of winning the match had been denied to them.
Scotland: Lee Alexander, Kirsty Smith (sub Sophie Howard 86mins), Nicola Docherty, Rachel Corsie, Jennifer Beattie, Leanne Crichton, Claire Emslie, Kim Little, Caroline Weir, Erin Cuthbert, Lisa Evans (sub Fiona Brown 86mins).
Argentina: Vanina Correa, Agustina Barroso, Eliana Stabile, Mariana Larroquette, Vanesa Santana (sub Miriam Mayorga 82mins), Aldana Cometti, Lorena Benitez, Linda Bravo, Sole Jaimes (sub Dalila Ippolito 70mins), Estefania Banini (sub Milagros Menendez 60mins), Florencia Bonsegundo.
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