Women's World Cup: Shelley Kerr defends Scotland's tactics

Scotland is on the verge of a Women's World Cup exit after losing 2-1 to Japan, but Shelley Kerr will not change her tactical approach.

Shelley Kerr looks on during the Women's World Cup contest between Scotland and Japan on Friday. Photo: AP

Shelley Kerr has no intention of changing Scotland's style of play after her side went down 2-1 to Japan in the Women's World Cup.

Having drawn against Argentina in its opening Group D match, 2015 runner-up Japan bounced back with a deserved three points in Rennes on Friday. Mana Iwabuchi put Japan ahead before Yuika Sugasawa scored what proved to be a decisive penalty — Lana Clelland striking late to give Scotland hope.

REPORT | Japan 2 - 1 Scotland

Scotland remains bottom of the group with two losses from its two matches so far and must beat Argentina to stand any chance of progressing as one of the best third-placed sides.

Kerr, however, insists her attacking approach was correct despite Scotland being 2-0 down by the interval. "There won't be many teams ranked 20th that play against teams ranked seventh and previously England third, that would run them so close," she told a news conference.

'Style and a system'

"I'm not a coach who's going to sit and park the bus against the better teams because we'd never improve. We've improved massively in the last 18 months because we have a philosophy. It's hugely important as a national team to play with a style and a system. They will know that they've run two teams very close.


"There was a downside of Japan drawing against Argentina because they knew they needed to win. They have world-class players, I thought their movement at times was incredible. We did expect it, we tried to combat it, but we knew at times it would be tough."

Japan is second on four points, two behind England, which beat Argentina 1-0 in Friday's late match, and coach Asako Takakura was pleased with her side's reaction to a poor performance in its opening game. "It was a must-win game and, although there were tough moments, we're very happy to get the win," she said.

"We had to be aggressive and score goals, and that's what we did. We didn't show our true selves in the first game at this tournament but this was a lot more like the true Japan. 

"I expect a lot of my players and today we managed to win against a wonderful Scottish team. But at the same time, we can still improve certain aspects of our game."

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