FIFA Women’s World Cup: England ease into World Cup quarters

The sports minister says she hopes England can progress deep into the Women's World Cup to help inspire the next generation of footballers.

This match will be best remembered for Cameroon’s protests to the Chinese referee.

Captain Steph Houghton set England on their way to the quarterfinals of the women’s World Cup on Sunday with a 3-0 win over a Cameroon side who were left furious with several refereeing decisions and at one point appeared ready to walk off the pitch.

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Houghton, Ellen White, and Alex Greenwood scored the goals for England in a bad-tempered encounter watched by more than 20,000 fans in Valenciennes, and Phil Neville’s side goes through to a quarterfinal against Norway on Thursday.

England’s Alex Greenwood (left) vies with Cameroon’s Alexandra Takounda.

However, this match will be best remembered for Cameroon’s protests to the Chinese referee as they went out in the last 16 for the second successive World Cup, and African interest in France came to an end.

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They were left with a sense of injustice at the manner in which England’s opening goal came about in the 14th minute, and their anger reached boiling point when White’s goal to make it 2-0 in first-half stoppage time was initially disallowed for offside before being awarded after referee Qin Liang consulted with the Video Assistant Referee.

Their players surrounded the referee, pointing to the big screen replays of the goal and seemingly threatening to walk off the pitch.

Toni Duggan laid off the free-kick barely six yards out for Houghton to fire in, despite Cameroon placing every single player behind the ball.

England was laborious but increased their advantage through that controversial second goal right on half-time, with Lucy Bronze doing excellently to set up White, who fired in on her left foot for her fourth goal of the World Cup.
White was in line with the last defender when the pass was played, and the decision to let the goal stand was the correct one.

The next flashpoint came just after the restart as Nchout scored from Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene’s low ball into the box, but again VAR overturned the decision, this time disallowing the goal for offside.

https://twitter.com/Lionesses/status/1141454232098418688

England then wrapped up their victory when Duggan’s low corner from the left was swept home first-time by Greenwood in the 58th minute.

That ended any doubt about the final outcome, and the referee then opted not to give England a penalty after coming to review a possible foul on Fran Kirby in the box by Ysis Sonkeng, thereby avoiding the further wrath of the Cameroon players.

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