By 90Min
June 23, 2019

It's official. On Thursday 27 June 2019, England's Lionesses will face Norway at the Stade Ocean in Le Havre with a place in the World Cup semi finals at stake.

Yes, we've got another summer of singing and dancing on our hands, relentlessly chanting the same anthem: 'It's Coming Home'. The Lionesses' hard-fought 3-0 victory over Cameroon has got us all believing again and you better bet that Twitter did it's usual thing.

It took just three minutes before the Cameroonians started getting nasty, with full-back Yvonne Leuko flinging a wild elbow into Nikita Parris as the Manchester City winger looked to breeze beyond her.

However, Leuko wasn't the villain of the piece... more like one of many. Her misdemeanour was trumped by teammate Augustine Ejangue soon after, who couldn't resist spitting on Toni Duggan.

Unperturbed by their opponents' dirty tactics, Phil Neville's side pressed forward and took the game to Cameroon, carving out several openings.

Duggan's delivery from the right landed at the feet of Ejangue, who - under pressure from Parris - passed the ball back to her own goalkeeper who foolishly picked it up. 

Her actions saw England awarded an indirect free-kick on the edge of the six-yard box, but not everyone agreed with the referee's decision, with the Cameroonian squad making their stance known.

Yet, the free-kick stood, forcing all Cameroon players to gather in their own goal mouth. However, they failed to stop Steph Houghton's rifled finish into the bottom corner, Duggan rolling the ball to the England captain, who calmly placed her shot through the cavalry charge.

So, 1-0 England and the nation was celebrating.

Things got a little quiet, thereafter. Of course, there was the odd kick or trip in there, but nothing to write home about. Then, all hell broke loose...

Ellen White slid a neat effort beyond Annette Ngo Ndom, before realising that the lineswoman's flag was raised. VAR was called upon and, after an age, the goal was correctly awarded, though Cameroon were hardly happy bunnies about it all.

Then again, who cares? The Lionesses had a two-goal lead and were heading for a quarter final date with Norway! Maybe, a few of us started celebrating a bit early...

If you thought that was all in terms of VAR-induced mania, you'd be wrong. Swiftly after the restart, Alexandra Takounda fired a bullet high into Karen Bardsley's net, only to have her goal chalked off for offside.

It was the correct decision. Well, a quarter of her teammate's ankle was in an offside position during the build-up, so yeah... justice was done... kind of. 

Then the girls got a little shaky, the riot on the Cameroonian bench invigorating the underdogs and leaving England feeling nervous.

A couple of fine opportunities fell the Africans' way, but they couldn't capitalise. Whether it was misfortune, Bardsley's heroics or just poor technique, they consistently found a way to miss their chances.

However, some thought the Manchester City shot-stopper was testing Cameroon's patience, potentially causing another uproar over VAR.

Neville's recruits weathered the storm, however, eventually sealing the win through a brilliantly-simple corner routine, Alex Greenwood sweeping home to kill the game.

Some celebrated with a rendition of that famous chant...

Others expressed their joy in a different, more artistic manner...

We knew that the dream was still on, that the Lionesses could still bring home that elusive World Cup trophy.

However, Neville would need his best players available in order to do so. You can understand the backlash, then, when Takounda crunched into star performer Houghton's leg.

But, it wasn't just Takounda's challenge that people took issue with...

Anyway, enough of the nitty-gritty; England won and I'm sure Mr Phil Neville couldn't wait to praise the superb efforts his gladiators...

Nope, he couldn't get past the awful, lamentable behaviour of the Cameroon squad and coaching staff. To be fair, he has a point.

Joking aside, Neville's post-match comments were no less than you would expect of such a strong character and he earned plenty of respect for making them.

So, now that that wrestling match is all done and dusted, we can begin looking ahead to the quarters. This tournament is only gonna get better...

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