THE ambiance in Rennes, where Scotland will play their second Group D match against Japan on Friday, bears no resemblance to Nice, and nor does the weather. Having swapped the French Riviera for Brittany, Shelley Kerr and her players will experience an environment and climate at Roazhon Park much more like home.

So hot and humid was the Allianz Arena on Sunday evening that Kerr has given her players 48 hours to recover and they won't train until tomorrow. That will allow for plenty of time to reflect on the game against England, and in particular the last 35 minutes of the first half when Scotland were a distant second best.

The game could have been out of sight long before Claire Emslie scored Scotland's first-ever goal at a World Cup with 11 minutes remaining. Lee Alexander, the Glasgow City goalkeeper, came to her side's rescue with some timely saves.

Plenty, then, for Kerr to ponder while her players get their rest ahead of the Japan game. There will be relief, too, that the 2-1 margin isn't going to be a huge impediment if qualifying for the last 16 comes down to being one of the four best third-placed sides in the six groups.

Whatever the circumstances of the VAR penalty which the ebullient Nikita Parris, converted, it's hard to recall a first-choice Scotland side playing as badly as they did in the ensuing long stretch to half time.

England looked as if they could do what they pleased down Scotland's left and it was an unhappy evening for the entire back four until Manchester United full-back Kirsty Smith came on and provided respite with pacey bursts down the left wing. In midfield, Caroline Weir, Christie Murray and Kim Little were unable to get any meaningful purchase on the proceedings during that period.

Emslie's goal 11 minutes from time, following good work from Lisa Evans when she capitalised on a mistake by England captain Steph Houghton, gave the game a different perspective for both camps. Instead of basking in plaudits, England head coach Phil Neville was being asked how such a tight scoreline had been allowed to happen.

“The pleasing thing for me was how well we responded in the second half,” Kerr pointed. “The big question we have to ask is why we didn't do it in the first.

“I have to give the players huge credit because they played one of the favourites to win this tournament and we came back in the second half. The Japan game will be a tough one, for sure.

“They keep the ball for fun and have possession all over the pitch. We need to look at how their game against Argentina went. They've been in a transitional period. Senior players have retired and some young ones have come in.

“We need to put them under pressure. We need to be more physical. We need to stop them playing – that's the big thing for us.”

Arsenal winger Evans said: “It was a hard shift and it won't be as hot for the game in Rennes. We were too far off England with our press and the conditions didn't make it any easier. A Scottish climate should help us against Japan.”

Despite the result, Erin Cuthbert, said: “It was absolutely incredible to walk out for your country for the first time at a World Cup. It’s everything I dreamed of as a little girl and I was quite emotional at the national anthem.

“I managed to keep it together because when the whistle goes you must play the game, not the occasion.”