Scotland coach Shelley Kerr claimed refereeing decisions went against her side after they let a three-goal lead slip to draw 3-3 with Argentina and crash out of the World Cup.
Kerr’s side appeared on course for the win they needed in their final group game as goals from Kim Little, Jennifer Beattie and Erin Cuthbert put them 3-0 up with 21 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.
“It’s quite hard right now,” Kerr told a post-match press conference. “Obviously we were 3-0 up and looking quite comfortable. Their first goal changed the whole complexion.
“For 70 minutes we were very good and we didn’t manage to see the game out, but at this moment in time we feel very hard done by.
“It’s very difficult to comment right now, but I think there were certainly a few decisions again which didn’t go our way.
“This is a World Cup and you need the officials to make the right calls and I think there were a few that went against us.
“It’s bitterly disappointing. But saying that we should still manage the game. We’ll not take away that fact, but yes, bitterly disappointing.”
Kerr felt Scotland should have been awarded a free-kick in the build-up to Argentina’s first goal and was at odds with the small amount of time added on before the final whistle.
In an agonising finale, the video assistant referee ruled that Scotland goalkeeper Lee Alexander had moved both feet off the goal line when saving Bonsegundo’s initial penalty.
“My emotions – I need to spend a bit of time with the players. We’re all devastated.
“We put so much into this game. Unfortunately we conceded three goals. It’s very tough right now. It’s still very raw. We need to pick up the players, because we put everything into that game.”
Argentina coach Carlos Borrello believes his young side is improving, but had mixed feelings about their performance against the Scots.
“There is some light at the end of the tunnel,” Borrello was quoted on FIFA’s official website. “We did play a different type of game to the first couple of matches. We have strong players.
“It’s a shame some of them are very young, so actually we have a fresh team and maybe that’s what we need.
“It is bittersweet because in the first half there was just that one goal and then it all changed.
“But that’s football. I’m very happy with what the girls gave and how everything unfolded. We still have work to do, but things seem positive to me.”