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Scotland going for a win against Japan, says boss Shelley Kerr

Shelley Kerr insists Scotland are aiming to beat Japan on Friday in order to keep alive their hopes of making the Women’s World Cup knockout stages.

Scotland were beaten 2-1 by England in their opening game of the tournament on Sunday while Japan were held to a 0-0 draw by Argentina in Group D.

A top-two finish in a group guarantees a spot in the last 16, while four of the six third-placed finishers will also progress.

Claire Emslie, centre left, celebrates scoring against England

Claire Emslie, centre left, celebrates scoring against England (John Walton/PA)

Scotland boss Kerr knows a victory over Japan in Rennes will go a long way to securing their passage and the 49-year-old is eyeing three points.

“Our expectations are still the same, our targets haven’t changed, we still want to try and get out of the group,” said Kerr, speaking at the pre-match press conference.

“To try and get out of the group we have to win one game, so our plan hasn’t changed. Of course we are going for a win.”

Japan are aiming to reach their third straight World Cup final, having won the competition in 2011 and finished runners-up to the United States in 2015.

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When asked about how their next opponents will compare with the threat England posed, Kerr said: “It’s a different type of game.

“We’re going to face a very competent Japanese team that are technically very good players. Our game plan changes a little in how we combat that.

“We know how good Japan are. Just because they drew against a lower-ranked team, we are still in for a tough, tough game.

“They have some exceptional players and we have to be mindful of that.”

Scotland’s Rachel Corsie, left, holds off England’s Ellen White

Scotland’s Rachel Corsie, left, holds off England’s Ellen White (John Walton/PA)

Captain Rachel Corsie also believes Scotland can cause Japan problems, and drew on the positives from the performance against England.

The defender said: “The second half against England, it would have been very easy to come out and feel the pressure and collapse. There was no way we would allow that to happen.

“The nature of the game was difficult, but I think you saw how much we have grown because we finished the game strongly.”