SHELLEY Kerr admitted her side hadn’t been nearly good enough in the first half against England, and must now regroup ahead of Friday’s second Group D match against Japan.

The Scotland head coach and her players will face a side which won the 2011 World Cup and were beaten finalists four years ago.

“The first 10 minutes we started the game really well. Then England got the penalty and we lost our way a bit,” Kerr said. “England played with an intensity and we didn’t get close to them, especially in midfield.

“They got a second goal just before half time, so the first half we were disappointed in because we can do much better.

“Credit has to go to England because I thought they did really well, especially from midfield to front.

“The second half we were more organised – we changed a couple of things tactically and we finished the game extremely well.

“Over the piece of the game the second half performance was more like us and I was pleased with that.”

Kerr, who said before the tournament that she welcomed the introduction of VAR at the women’s World Cup for the first time, said the award of England’s early penalty hadn’t affected the outcome of the game – but added: “In the first instance I think it was harsh.

“Obviously there’s rules in place and it’s a hard, hard job for the officials

“That’s what VAR is there to do, to help them. By the letter of the law it’s a penalty but I thought it was harsh.

“I don’t think it affected the outcome. If you look at the first half after England scored they were on the ascendancy and created a few chances.

“They were really dominant apart from that first ten minutes. You just have to react to those decisions and try and get your game plan right after it.

“The biggest problem for us was our midfield didn’t get close enough to theirs and they were able to penetrate us a lot.”

The squad fly from Nice to Rennes for the second group game today and Kerr pointed out: “Firstly we need to look at the first half and where things went wrong.

“We need to scrutinise that at a World Cup because we weren’t at our best in the first half.

“The second half I thought we performed really well. The big thing for us now is we need to recover because that was a tough, tough game.

“We face a tough Japanese team as well so the important thing is to regroup and recover for the next couple of days – and then look at a game plan to try and get something out of the match.

“You can’t attack all the time when you’re playing higher ranked teams and it’s going to be a different type of game against Japan.”