Scotland's women slumped to the Paris grass in tears of disbelief as they squandered a three goal lead to draw a match they had to win to get to the last 16 of the World Cup.

In scenes that had harked back to the heartbreak of the men's team in the 1978 Argentina World Cup, the women came so close and yet were so far in their dream of progressing in the elite women's football competiton.

After 69 minutes it looked like job done, when Erin Cuthbert swept the ball into the back of the net to give Scotland surely an unssailable 3-0 lead over Argentina's Women.

HeraldScotland:

But six minutes later Milagros Menendez popped to get one - and then four minutes after that Florencia Bonsegundo hammered in a shot from distance for a second.

READ MORE: Goalscoring Scotland midfielder kisses a special picture... but it ends in heartbreak

Then a few minutes from the end, disaster struck, with Argentina getting a penalty with the help of the video assistant referee after Sophie Howard sent her opponent Aldana Cometti tumbling.

There were celebrations as Lee Alexander saved, but those turned to concern as the penalty had to be retaken, as the goalkeeper had strayed off the goal line.

HeraldScotland:

Florencia Bonsegundo made no mistake with the retake and the women slumped to the ground in disbelief at their dramatic collapse.

Nicola Sturgeon passed on her commiserations and declared: "I still don't fully understand how it works, but I understand enough to know that I hate VAR!"

She added: "You've taken Scotland to our first World Cup in 21 years, scored our first ever goals in a women’s World Cup, and inspired our nation. I know how heartbroken you will feel right now, but hold your heads high - you’ve done us proud."

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon celebrates Scotland's first ever Women's World Cup

Scotland captain Rachel Corsie was beside herself at the end of the game saying: "I thought we were outstanding. We just weren't going to get the decisions and that was the bottom line. The third goal is ridiculous. It was clear for everyone to see that we were still making a substitution. I don't understand how that can be allowed at this level.

"They're making the rules really, really strict and we were making a substitution while we were defending a free-kick and for some reason the referee has allowed the play to continue. It's just really, really sore that that is what has ultimately cost us the tournament."

HeraldScotland:

Scotland goalkeeper Lee Alexander saves a penalty from Argentina's Florencia Bonsegundo (left), but is off her line so it is ordered by VAR to be re-taken

HeraldScotland:

HeraldScotland: