Japan 2-1 Scotland: Experienced players must 'up game' for Scots - Kim Little

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Scotland lose 2-1 to Japan despite late Clelland strike

Kim Little says Scotland's experienced players must "step up" after another disappointing display at the Women's World Cup in France.

As in their opening match against England, the Scots trailed 2-0 at the break against Japan.

Shelley Kerr's side improved late in the game, with Lana Clelland reducing the deficit with a cracking strike.

"Everyone needs to up their game, perform for the team to get a result next week," Little, 28, said.

The Scots face Argentina, who lost 1-0 to England on Friday, in Paris in their final Group D match on Wednesday knowing a win is essential if they are to have a chance of qualifying as one of the best third-placed teams.

"We can still go through," Arsenal midfielder Little said. "Third-placed teams go through and, at the end of the day, we just need to turn up next week against Argentina, we need to win.

"We, as the experienced players especially, need to step up. It's not over yet, but I'm disappointed we haven't taken anything from first two games.

"We were second best against Japan - it felt like that for most of the game. We were covering a lot and, yes, we did create more chances in the second half, but it very much felt like it was them on top of us for most of the game.

"We let ourselves down again in the first half - performed better in the second. But against these teams that are higher ranked you can't afford to do that."

Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr defended her tactics, which were were questioned by BBC pundit Hope Solo, and Little thought there would be lots of self-examination.

"We just need to analyse it and change something about how we start the games," she added.

"It may be something to do with our initial press, but I don't know. We need to reflect and do something to make sure that doesn't happen again.

"We have a good shape, but against the higher ranked teams, you can't do anything wrong, you have to be perfect. I think it's also partly that we maybe didn't get the shape right, which meant the spaces were too big."

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