One down, two to go.
That’s the mentality Scotland’s women must adopt to keep their World Cup dream alive.
England were always going to be a tough nut to crack.
Forget about the ancient rivalry between the teams – and between the countries.
Even without it, England would have posed Shelley Kerr’s side problems.
They are amongst the world’s top four of five teams, without question.
The bottom line is, Scotland are simply not at their level – at least not yet.
Today, our girls leave the Mediterranean heat of Nice for the more familiar climes of Rennes, in Brittany.
They will be greeted by overcast skies and rain when they arrive.
After the intensity of yesterday, it will probably come as a huge relief.
The days leading up to the big kick-off had been relaxed.
The players strolled around their seaside hotel, enjoyed post-training trips to the beach, and had their every whim rightly catered to by SFA staff.
England shattered their peace and quiet.
Perhaps things would have gone differently had VAR not intervened early on to hand England the penalty from which they took the lead.
Scotland had started well – and were handling their opponents expertly.
England’s full backs were being beckoned forward. The spaces the left behind were being exploited.
But once Neville’s Lionesses got their noses in front, their quality told.
In truth, were it not for Lee Alexander in goal, England could have been three or four goals to the good by the time Claire Emslie notched Scotland’s goal.
But what’s done is done. Next up: Japan.
As Scotland’s players boarded their flight to Rennes today, I was boarding one bound for Frankfurt.
From there, I will fly back to Edinburgh, and back to reality.
That means the jiggery pokery of the transfer window and the matchless banality of the close season.
Football’s summer break is getting shorter every year.
It’s something people complain about.
I really don’t understand why.
This game contains multitudes.
There are things that irritate, things that enthral, things that perplex.
But at the heart of it all, it is a thing that makes people who care feel things they don’t feel in any other walk of life.
The game’s thrills are fleeting. It could even be argued that they are essentially meaningless, in and of themselves.
But the memory of them is impossible to shake.
Nothing else on the planet sends people as explosively wild as a last-minute winner. There is no euphoria as intense and pure.
Belief is a rare commodity in this game, but hope springs eternal.
So as far as I’m concerned, the sooner the football season begins again, the better.
In the meantime, Scotland’s women deserve our support.
They have fought tooth and nail to be in France, and they have faced serious opposition in England.
If they stay on the same trajectory, they could certainly do some damage over the next week-and-a-half.
One down, two to go.
As a football fan who has been burned before, I can’t say I believe.
But you better believe I hope.