England beat Cameroon 3-0 to set up a date against Norway in the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup — but VAR once again dominates the postmatch debate.
Phil Neville’s team took the lead in the 14th minute when Cameroon goalkeeper Annette Ngo Ndom was adjudged to have picked up a deliberate back pass from defender Augustine Ejangue. The free kick was placed on the edge of the six-yard box, but Steph Houghton still expertly found the bottom corner.
It was 2-0 deep into first-half stoppage time — thanks to the intervention of the VAR. Lucy Bronze played Ellen White through the middle, and though the striker fired home past Ngo Ndom the offside flag went up. A VAR review correctly awarded the goal with White behind the last defender.
However, when the incident was replayed on the big screen inside the stadium, the Cameroon players saw an England player in an offside position (but she was not interfering with play) and launched a furious protest.
Their anger was more pronounced straight after half-time when Ajara Nchout scored to bring the African side back into the game. But a VAR check then showed she was inches offside and the goal was chalked off. Nchout was infuriated and had to be calmed down by her coach, Alain Djeumfa.
England added a third through defender Alex Greenwood, who swept in a first-time effort from a well worked corner in the 58th minute to rub salt into the wounds.
England now face Norway in Le Havre on Thursday in the last-eight.