Scotland's Kerr gunning for Japan and World Cup last 16

Paris (AFP) –


Shelley Kerr says her Scotland team remain optimistic they can make it beyond the group stage at their debut women's World Cup as they prepare to face former champions Japan on Friday.

The Scots are bottom of Group D after falling to a battling 2-1 defeat against England in their opening match and now need a result on Friday to at least stay in touch with Japan and Argentina -- who take on England in La Havre -- in the hope of reaching the last 16.

"We approach every game looking at performance and we try to get a result," Kerr told reporters in Rennes, where Friday's game will be played.

"To get out of the group we need to win at least one game, so are we going for a win? Of course we are."

Scotland are one point behind both the Japanese and Argentina following their goalless draw on Monday and Kerr highlighted the grit of the South Americans in stopping a team she says she has admired "for many, many years".

"Argentina were dangerous on the counter, and the defensive discipline helped them get a point," said the former boss of Arsenal.

"We know how good Japan are, just because they only draw against a lower ranked team, they are still a tough, tough team."

Defender Rachel Corsie said that their performance in the second half against England, when they pulled a goal back through Claire Emslie and pushed for a leveller after going behind early thanks to a soft penalty, shows they have the mental strength to bounce back.

"It would have been easy to feel pressure and collapse but there was no way we were going to let that happen," she said.

"That could be crucial for us in trying to get to the next round."