Head coach Anna Signeul feels her Scotland team have not enjoyed much good fortune in the build-up to Euro 2017 and in the 2-1 defeat by Portugal.
The loss in Rotterdam leaves Scotland needing to beat Spain on Thursday by two goals and hoping England beat Portugal, having defeated Spain 2-0.
"When you come to these tournaments, the margins are so small and we haven't had the breaks, not with injuries," Signeul told BBC Scotland.
"This is how it is sometimes."
Prior to the tournament, Scotland lost Kim Little, Jen Beattie and Lizzie Arnot through injury, and striker Jane Ross missed the Portugal game with a shoulder injury sustained in the 6-0 defeat by England.
Scotland and Portugal are playing in their first major finals and it was Francisco Neto's team who scored their first goal at that level when in 27 minutes Carolina Mendes seized on a miscued clearance by Vaila Barsley, who was perhaps thrown by the ball's deflection off Rachel McLauchlan's boot.
Erin Cuthbert scored for Scotland two minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute but defensive slackness allowed Ana Leite to break free for the winner.
Striker Lana Clelland had missed an open goal and then struck a post in the first half and Caroline Weir smacked a shot off the Portugal post late in the match as Scotland's frustration grew.
The win put Portugal on to three points, having lost 2-0 to Spain in their opening tie.
If England make a clean sweep of wins by beating the Portuguese on Thursday and Scotland can beat Spain, then Portugal, Scotland and Spain would all be on three points.
Uefa rules state that in such a scenario, group standings are arranged according to which team has "a, the higher number of points obtained in the group matches played among the teams in question; b, superior goal difference resulting from the group matches played among the teams in question; c, higher number of goals scored in the group matches played among the teams in question."
"Theoretically we are still in it, which is more than you can say about other teams in other groups," said Signeul ahead of England's win over Spain on Sunday evening.
"We played so well in the first half and it felt like we could have been up 2-0 or 3-0.
"Instead we got the counter-attack against us and the ball bounced on Rachel's foot and it put Vaila on the back foot as well. It was an unlucky first goal.
"We came back so well and fought and fought and fought for the equaliser, but they got the counter again. Unfortunately we couldn't put it in.
"The players will become mentally stronger for this.
"Erin did really well when she came on. She has such a great technique and technical mind, She is fearless, I am very proud of her."