England 2-1 Scotland: Shelley Kerr laments 'harsh' penalty but takes 'lots of positives'

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England 'thought it was going to be easy' - Neville & Kerr react to opening World Cup game

Scotland coach Shelley Kerr lamented a "harsh" penalty and a poor first half but took "lots of positives" from the World Cup debut defeat by England.

Nikita Parris opened the scoring from the penalty spot after a Nicola Docherty handball as England went on to win 2-1 in the opening group game.

"I've watched the penalty three times and I thought it was a bit harsh, but the rules are the rules," Kerr said.

"What I want to do now is applaud the players for the second-half display."

England dominated the rest of the first half after that 14th-minute opener and extended their lead through Ellen White.

But Scotland gave the side ranked third in the world a fright after Claire Emslie pulled a goal back with 11 minutes remaining.

"I don't think we played particularly well in the first half, but I've got to give England credit," Kerr told BBC Scotland. "They played with intensity and put us under pressure in the right areas and got their two goals.

"I think we came out in the second half and we showed what we're capable of."

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Highlights: England 2-1 Scotland

Kerr believes that her side, whose next group match is on Friday against Japan, "need to win one game" out of three to progress as one of the three third-placed sides.

"It didn't need to be the first game," she said. "It would have been nice if we got something out of it, but we rest, we regroup and we get ready to go again against Japan."

Kerr pointed out that many had tipped England to win the World Cup but was much happier with the way Scotland competed after she "changed a few things" at half time.

"They are ranked third in the world for a reason and there is no doubt they are a formidable team," she said. "We couldn't play the expansive game as we have done previously against other teams.

"The penalty probably dented our confidence a wee bit, but all credit to the players, they regrouped after half time and that's what they've done throughout the campaign."

Scotland were unable to add to Emslie's strike in the closing minutes.

"I thought, when she got herself in some good positions in the wide areas, she could have chosen better options at times, but on a personal note, it's great that she got a goal and it got us right back in the game and I thought, when she did score, we were on the ascendency," Kerr added.

Emslie 'very proud' to unleash 'incredible noise'

Claire Emslie scores for Scotland against England
Claire Emslie scored for Scotland with 11 minutes remaining

Emslie says she was too busy thinking "get the ball, we just need another time" to celebrate Scotland's first-ever goal at a World Cup finals.

The winger, who is joining Orlando Pride from Manchester City, is "very proud" to have given the fans "something to cheer about" and recalled that "the noise when I scored was incredible."

"England are world-class players, they're experienced and we matched them at points," Emslie said. "Unfortunately, we didn't get the result.

"It's not over yet. We've still got two massive games, so we'll focus on that now."