Japan 2-1 Scotland: Back-to-back defeats for Scotland in Women's World Cup
Scotland's qualification hopes dealt a severe blow with VAR to the fore
Last Updated: 14/06/19 6:59pm
Japan survived a late Scotland rally and two viable penalty claims to leave the Scots' World Cup qualification hopes in tatters after a 2-1 defeat.
After defeat to England in their opening game, Shelley Kerr's team needed a positive result but were outplayed in the first-half, going down to Mana Iwabuchi (23) and a Yuika Sugasawa penalty (37).
Some second-half substitutions sparked Scotland into life and a brilliant long-range Lana Clelland (88) finish narrowed the deficit but it was too little too late.
Scotland had two strong late penalty shouts - for a foul on Erin Cuthbert and a handball by Risa Shimizu - that were turned down and not reviewed by VAR while Cuthbert also hit the post from close range.
This defeat leaves Scotland bottom of the group, knowing they need to beat Argentina to have a chance of making the knockout stages as one of the four best third-placed sides.
Iwabuchi put her side in front midway through the first-half after Scotland captain Rachel Corsie presented her with an opportunity.
Corsie's poor header found Iwabuchi, who fired a shot into the roof of the net.
Japan maintained their dominance and Kim Little cleared off the line as the pressure grew on the Scots.
The second goal did come just before the break when Sugasawa was fouled by Corsie who put her hand on the striker's shoulder. Sugasawa slotted the resulting spot-kick into the bottom corner.
Hina Sugita then hit the bar in first-half stoppage time with Scotland looking out on their feet.
However, improvement came after the break with Cuthbert's strike on 78 minutes smashing back off the post.
The Chelsea forward then had two claims for penalties turned down in quick succession, one when she went down and the other when she sent the ball against Shimizu's arm. VAR wasn't used for either incident.
With Japan feeling the pressure, Clelland found the top corner with two minutes remaining with a fine strike but Scotland were unable to find the leveller.