Poor refereeing was to blame for tempers flaring in England’s 3-0 victory over Cameroon in the last-16 of the Women’s World Cup.
That’s the view of talkSPORT host Laura Woods, who believes officials allowed Cameroon players to take control of the ill-tempered clash.
Lionesses boss Phil Neville said he was ‘ashamed’ of the Cameroon players’ behaviour throughout the game in Valenciennes, as they reacted angrily over a number of game-changing decisions.
Players staged an on-pitch protest when England’s second goal was given by VAR after it was initially, incorrectly, disallowed for offside.
And they were outraged further in the second-half when Cameroon’s star forward Ajara Nchout had a goal ruled out by VAR for a marginal, yet correct, offside ruling.
There were also a number of nasty incidents throughout the game, with Yvonne Leuko booked for an apparent elbow on England winger Nikita Parris, Augustine Ejangue apparently spitting on Toni Duggan and Alexandra Takounda booked for a late, studs-up challenge on captain Steph Houghton.
Cameroon’s head coach insisted following the game his side ‘showed fair play’ and were victims of a ‘miscarriage of justice’.
And Woods said officials should have controlled the game better.
Speaking to Ally McCoist on Monday’s Sports Breakfast, Woods said: “Have you ever played against a team that lost its discipline to such an extent?
“The behaviour aside, what I think is worse is the way the officials didn’t deal with it.
“That’s what you’re there for, you have the ability to nip behaviour like that in the bud.
“I think they lost control of the game completely to such a degree that it just spiralled into absolute chaos. It was comedy at times, the way they were playing and the decisions they were making.
“At one point they had a group chat to decide whether or not, it seemed, to walk off the pitch and abandon the game.
“But rather than the referee saying, ‘what are you doing wasting time?’, she just let them have a chat!”