June 24 – Host nation France squeezed past Brazil 2-1 after extra time to reach the last eight of the women’s World Cup but the story of the day was elsewhere as England beat Cameroon 3-0 in a match marred by yet more controversial VAR decisions that infuriated the Africans who at one point refused to restart the game.
After England’s second goal by Ellen White at the end of the first half was initially ruled out for offside then, rightly, allowed to stand via VAR, several Cameroon players remonstrated with the referee and for a time refused to carry on.
At halftime they refused to go off and join their coach, instead staying in the centre circle in a huddle.
Cameroon thought they had pulled a goal back after the break but their rage increased when it was disallowed by the tiniest of offside margins, also via VAR.
Cameroon, who are 43 places below England in the FIFA ranking and playing in only their second Women’s World Cup, clearly thought they were hard done by and right at the end Alexandra Takounda put in a dangerous challenge on England star Steph Houghton that could rule her out of the quarter final with Norway.
“I am completely and utterly ashamed of the opposition,” raged England coach Phil Neville.
“If that was my team … they would never play for England again, with that kind of behaviour. At times, we probably didn’t know whether the game would continue.
“It didn’t feel like football. It was a good win but that wasn’t a World Cup last-16 tie in terms of behaviour that I want to see from footballers.
“This is going out worldwide. I didn’t enjoy it, the players didn’t enjoy it. My players kept their concentration fantastically, but those images are going out worldwide about how to act, the young girls playing all over the world that are seeing that behaviour.”
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