An opening tie against one of the tournament favourites was always going to be a tall order for Shelley Kerr’s side.
The Scots were beaten 6-0 by England in their opening fixture of the European Championships two years ago and for a while in the first half it looked possible that a similar scoreline was on the cards in Nice yesterday.
But this Scotland side are a different proposition to the team that lined up in the Netherlands two years ago without their star player Kim Little and trusted defender Jen Beattie in the national team’s first appearance at a major tournament.
Shelley Kerr’s pre-match assessment that the pressure ahead of the Group D opener was on England was correct.
Phil Neville’s Lionesses have the potential to go all the way in this tournament but getting out of this group is a realistic target for Scotland.
They have been handed a difficult draw with England and Japan two of the top seven teams in the world, according to the FIFA rankings.
But with four of the six teams who finish third progressing to the last 16, a victory over Argentina in their final group game should be enough to secure their passage, should they take nothing from their meeting with Japan in Rennes on Friday.
Scotland had won only two of their previous 25 matches against England and they were well off the pace in the first half as a Nikita Parris penalty and an Ellen White strike gave Neville’s side a two-goal lead.
England winger Parris gave left back Nicola Docherty a torrid time during a one-sided 45 minutes with Scotland goalkeeper Lee Alexander keeping her side in the match with a couple of superb saves.
The game plan was not working for Scotland.
Erin Cuthbert was left isolated in attack, Little was on the periphery of proceedings and Scotland’s two full-backs were struggling to cope with the pace and trickery down both England flanks.
But Kerr deserves credit for getting a tune out of her side in the second half as they looked far more like the team that had generated so much excitement during their run to the World Cup.
The industry of Cuthbert began to cause the England defence problems, Little became a more prominent presence and it was suddenly the side ranked third in the world who were being asked questions.
Claire Emslie can lay claim to being the first Scot to score at the Women’s World Cup with her close-range strike setting up a nervy finish for England and Neville’s side would have been relieved to hear the full-time whistle.
But after an underwhelming first-half performance, Kerr would have been proud of the way her side fought back into the match and almost managed to plunder a point.
They must take that confidence gained into their final two group games as, on the basis of their second half showing, there is no reason why they can’t make it to the knockout stages.