England set up a Women’s World Cup quarter-final against Norway after beating Cameroon 3-0 in a remarkable, ill-tempered clash in Valenciennes.
Phil Neville’s side went ahead in the 14th minute at the Stade du Hainaut when Cameroon were deemed guilty of a back pass and, from the resulting indirect free-kick, Toni Duggan teed up a strike by England captain Steph Houghton.
Extraordinary scenes then followed as Cameroon made their displeasure known about two VAR decisions that went against them.
After Ellen White’s finish in first-half stoppage time was ruled out for offside and the decision was subsequently overturned, Cameroon’s players remonstrated at length with the officials and there appeared some doubt over whether they would resume playing.
Their anger then increased shortly after the interval when Ajara Nchout fired the ball into England’s net and a VAR review saw that effort chalked off for offside. The game was held up once more as Cameroon made further angry protests, with Nchout in tears.
England survived some scares soon after, then extended their advantage in the 59th minute through Alex Greenwood’s finish, before referee Qin Liang made another VAR check following a Ysis Sonkeng challenge on Fran Kirby, with no penalty being given.
Having come through a test that also saw them receive some rough treatment and Duggan being spat on, England will now face Norway on Thursday in Le Havre for a place in the semi-finals.