Former Reign FC players Rachel Corsie and Kim Little helped Scotland qualify for their first-ever Women’s World Cup — a huge triumph for their country. Then, they got placed into a group that included Japan and England, two teams who analysts have predicted will go far in the tournament.
After two hard-fought matches against those countries — where Scotland made late attempts to come from behind but fell 2-1 in each scenario — Little, Corsie and their teammates still had a chance to advance to the knockout rounds.
On Wednesday, they faced off against Argentina. And after a few strong chances for their opponents, Scotland was the one who got on the scoresheet in the 20th minute. It was Little who would put them ahead — surging into the box to pounce on a cross from Erin Cuthbert, after she covered her rebounded shot.
SCOTLAND TAKE THE LEAD!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 19, 2019
Cuthbert's efforts set up Kim Little to tap it home and put Scotland on in the first half. pic.twitter.com/uQ8RryA2Mp
Little has been asked to drop deeper for Scotland against the likes of Japan and England, using her smart positioning to provide defensive cover as they absorbed pressure and tried to weather the storm.
Against Argentina, she’s been able to play freer and worry less about the players behind her. As we head into half time, Scotland is up 1-0 and look poised for more goals.
The second half was all Scotland, at least for the first 30 minutes. After going up 3-0, Scotland looked like they were going to coast their way into the knockout round. Then, Argentina jumpstarted one of the greatest comebacks in World Cup history, leveling the score in stoppage time on a penalty kick, which got to be retaken after goalkeeper Lee Alexander was off her line.
Then, inexplicably, the ref blew the whistle four minutes into stoppage time, despite play stopping for at least six minutes while the penalty was reviewed and then retaken. More time certainly should have been added for both sides to push for a game-winner.
Unfortunately for Scotland, the draw virtually eliminates their chances of advancing. It still shouldn’t take away from Little’s goal, however.
We lamented for years that the world might not have a chance to see a player of Kim Little’s caliber on the global stage. She played a big role in helping her country qualify, and Reign FC fans can now take all the time they need to savor this memory of Little scoring in a World Cup.