'Naive' Scotland too attacking against Argentina - Leanne Crichton

Leanne Crichton and Erin Cuthbert celebrate a goal during Scotland against Argentina
Leanne Crichton (left) said Scotland were "naive" in draw with Argentina

Scotland's World Cup collapse to Argentina was partly down to being worried about going out on goal difference, says Leanne Crichton.

They led 3-0 with 16 minutes to go, but conceded three times in their final group game to exit the competition.

Crichton says the team were "naive" as they chased more goals rather than trying to close the game out.

"I look online and see 'Nobody should lose a 3-0 lead' and I get that," Crichton told BBC Scotland.

"That's clear and we'll take our part responsibility for that and we'll live with that forever."

Opening defeats to England and Japan meant Scotland were playing to be one of four the best third-placed teams to qualify for the last 16.

Scotland had been knocked out of the European Championships two years previous when they fell one goal short of qualifying.

"The difficulty with the last game was there were games to be played the next day," said the Scotland midfielder. "So for us we were aware of the fact Chile would play Thailand and we knew that Thailand had suffered heavy defeats. So the reality was that Chile could take five or six off Thailand and put us out of the tournament.

"At 3-0 we were naive. I was naive probably in the moment. You think, 'We can score another and another and then it [qualification] becomes an absolute certainty'. You can look at it and say at 3-2 we were going through, but that was only after the games were played the next day.

"At the Euros it was goal difference. We didn't progress out of the group - we had to beat Spain 2-0 in the last game and it finished 1-0. That's a cruel way not to progress."

Leanne Crichton (left) in action for Scotland against Argentina
Scotland led Argentina 3-0 before late drama saw them knocked out of the World Cup

VAR has 'over-complicated' refereeing

Crichton believes Scotland were "hard done by" and "let down" by decisions in France.

And the 31-year-old says the use of VAR has made refereeing more difficult rather than helping officials.

"It's unclear a lot of the time," she said. "For me, I felt when the tournament started it would be used for clear and obvious errors. As the tournament has went on there's a lot less control from referees, now VAR is controlling every aspect of play.

"The referees are not great with communicating with players. In our game [against Argentina], play was stopped for eight minutes and there was no real direction over what was being checked. The referee has such a job now to manage the on-field situation with the amount of information that is fed through her ear, she is constantly bombarded and you can hear that when you're next to her.

"They've stopped taking care of the basics. We've over-complicated a referee's job to the point that they have now lose their identity and their responsibility within the match. It'll take the emotion from it. Maybe we'll just stop celebrating moments and wait until the referee says we've got permission to do that."

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