England Lionesses put Cameroon controversy behind them as Lucy Bronze and Leah Williamson turn focus to Women’s World Cup quarter-finals
England’s World Cup stars have put Sunday’s controversial win over Cameroon behind them as they turn their attention to their upcoming quarter-final.
Phil Neville’s side reached the last eight with a 3-0 win in Valenciennes – a victory marred by Cameroon players stamping, spitting and even refusing to re-start play after two VAR decisions went against them.
FIFA have launched an investigation into Cameroon’s behaviour, which Neville said had ‘shamed’ women’s football.
England’s Lucy Bronze celebrates and has an ice bath following their 3-0 win over Cameroon
Cameroon players were left furious after the use of VAR confirmed an England goal on Sunday
But his players have tried to move on from the unsavoury encounter, and turn their attentions to this Thursday’s quarter-final against Norway.
‘A lot of talking points from today’s game,’ Nikita Parris wrote alongside a picture of her celebrating with team-mates.
‘Our main concern is that we got the W (win)! Quarter-finals see you soon’.
Lucy Bronze, meanwhile, posted a photo of her legs in an ice bath with the caption: ‘Focused on the next one already’.
Alexandra Takounda Engolo put in a horror tackle on Steph Houghton right at the death
The England and Lyon defender also uploaded a picture of the Lionesses celebrating and wrote: ‘And breathe! Through to the quarters with this team’
Goals from Steph Houghton, Ellen White and Alex Greenwood sealed victory for England on Sunday.
But the one-sided scoreline belied an action-packed game which was tarnished by the rough-house tactics of their opponents, who even reportedly accused FIFA of racism after White’s goal was awarded following a VAR review.
Following the win, however, England midfielder Karen Carney tried to focus on the positives. ‘Buzzing team, well done,’ she wrote on Instagram. ‘On to the next one.’
Karen Carney and Georgia Stanway were also among those to toast Sunday’s 3-0 victory
Cameroon boss Alain Djeumfa rushed out onto the touchline to try and calm his players down
Goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, meanwhile, uploaded a picture of her celebrating with White with the caption: ‘Plenty of love to go around… proud of this team.’
The players’ positivity was in stark contrast with the frustration of their manager, who after the game said: ‘We’ve had seven million people watching us playing an international game against Cameroon with that behaviour.
‘I think it’s pretty sad. That’s how I felt on the touchline. Their team mirrored their manager. If my team played like that they would never play for England again.’
His strong post-match delivery followed an extraordinary press conference in which Cameroon manager Alan Djeumfa insisted every decision against his side had been wrong and defended his players, who claimed they were the victim of racism.
‘It was a miscarriage of justice. Why should I talk about anything other than that,’ said Djeumfa.
HOW THE DRAMA UNFOLDED…
4 mins: Yvonne Leuko elbowed Nikita Parris in the face before receiving a yellow card.
13 mins: Augustine Ejangue appears to spit at Toni Duggan. The Cameroon player escaped unpunished.
45+4 mins: England awarded second goal from Ellen White by VAR after initially being disallowed.
As half-time whistle blew, Cameroon players remained on pitch, appearing to be considering walking off the field.
Reports claim Cameroon players – some who were in tears – accused FIFA of racism
50 mins: Cameroon have goal ruled out at 2-0 after VAR showed Ajara Nchout to be marginally offside.
68 mins: Jeannette Yango angrily pushes the referee in the back as Kirby runs away with the ball.
79 mins: VAR is consulted as Fran Kirby went down in the penalty area after being caught late by Ysis Sonkeng. The referee decides against a spot-kick.
90+10 mins: VAR gives Alexandra Takounda Engolo only a yellow after a horror challenge on Steph Houghton, catching the England skipper’s heel with her studs.