By 90Min
June 23, 2019

Cameroon's behaviour during their 3-0 Women's World Cup round-of-16 defeat to England was 'unacceptable', according to Lionesses head coach Phil Neville.

The Africans were hugely aggressive during the clash at the Stade du Hainaut in Valenciennes, twice getting lucky to escape a dismissal. Yvonne Leuko was booked for a swinging elbow to the face of Manchester City winger Nikita Parris in the opening minutes, whilst teammate Alexandra Engolo was shown a yellow following a horrific rake down the side of Steph Houghton's shin.

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The England skipper was unable to continue after Engolo's dangerous lunge in the final minute, with a subsequent VAR review deciding the challenge was not worthy of a sending off.

Neville couldn't mask his fury when speaking to reporters after the match, telling BBC Sport: "I'm afraid today we saw behaviour that was unacceptable on the football field. At times, we probably didn't know whether the game would continue.

"It didn't feel like football. It was a good win but that wasn't a World Cup last-16 tie in terms of behaviour that I want to see from footballers.

"I didn't enjoy it, the players didn't enjoy it," the former Manchester United defender admitted. "Those images are going out worldwide about how to act, there are young girls playing all over the world that are seeing that behaviour. For me, it's not right."

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On-field hostility was not the only issue irking Neville, with play twice having to be stopped by the referee as Cameroonian players contested VAR decisions.

Asked whether he felt sympathy for their opponents, the 42-year-old said: "None. The rules are rules. For the second goal, Ellen White was onside, deal with it."

Neville also took time to discuss Houghton's injury, revealing (as quoted by the Manchester Evening News): "We're concerned about her, she's not someone that stays down. 

"It was a late tackle and we're going to have to do everything possible to get her fit for the quarter-final. She's a big player for us, our captain," he said in his post-match press conference.

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