England started their World Cup campaign with a 2-1 victory over Scotland. Goals from Nikita Parris and Ellen White gave England all three points.
This is Phil Neville’s first tournament with the national team and hoping to deliver greater success with this squad of players. More importantly, having a good run in the World Cup could prove vital in the foreseeable future in Phil Neville’s managerial career. However, England will want to build from their third-place finish in the 2015 World Cup.
We reflect back on what has happened in the game and what can be taken away from the game. Including the VAR penalty decision and the disallowed goal for England.
VAR penalty decision
England started the first-half brightly and their performance was highlighted around the decision to award them a penalty through VAR after Fran Kirby's cross hit Nicola Docherty's arm.
The penalty call proved to be a debate discussion and hard to critique. Meantime, former Scotland winger Pat Nevin highlighted that it was a “definite” spot kick.
Scotland’s Erin Cuthbert pointed out the VAR decision “knocked the wind out of our sails”.
She also added: “But, if you put your hands up, you always leave yourself with a risk. These things happen in football."
The incident clearly showed there was no sign of intent and a deliberate of handball. It proves difficult to see how Docherty could have avoided it hitting her – arms are part of the human body after all. Under the new ‘zero tolerance’ rules, it was clearly a penalty.
There is still more to be discovered about VAR and remains to be seen on the influence VAR has in the modern game.
England ideally should have been cruising with another two goals. We assess why the disallowed goals did not stand.
Ellen White, though she had scored from her thumping header after a delivered cross by Keira Walsh. White appeared to be marginally offside and that effort was, correctly, disallowed. It was the same for Beth Mead disallowed strike in the second half as she was in an offside position after Parris delivered the cross. This came at the start of the second half which England immediately go on the counter.