By 90Min
June 23, 2019

Another day, another round of World Cup fixtures.

There are now just two matches to sink your teeth into each day, but things are getting increasingly exciting in France. Sunday saw England defeat Cameroon 3-0 in a game overhsadowed by controversy, whilst hosts France secured their progress with an extra-time 2-1 victory over Brazil.


England 3-0 Cameroon

The Lionesses kept alive their hopes of winning a maiden World Cup trophy with a hard-fought victory over Cameroon. The Africans were far from walkovers as they took on the side ranked third in the tournament, though their behaviour in the encounter has been widely condemned.

Steph Houghton broke the deadlock early on, using both precision and power as she fired home from close-range. A foolish mistake from goalkeeper Annette Ngo Ndom handed her the opportunity, the 34-year-old picking up a backpass from her own defender.

Toni Duggan coolly stroked the resulting indirect free-kick to her skipper, Houghton finding space between a mass of Cameroonian bodies to give her country the lead.

It took until the end of the first period for further goalmouth action, Ellen White swivelling round to pass beyond Ngo Ndom after latching onto a deft Lucy Bronze throughball.

The strike was initially ruled out, but a subsequent VAR review showed that the Manchester City forward had been comfortably onside when the ball was nudged into her path.

Cameroon's players and staff reacted with wild distaste, though their protests fell on deaf ears. Following a brief delay, the referee got the game underway, before swiftly blowing for half-time.

The underdogs started like a house on fire after the restart, pressurising their opponents as they went in search of the goal that would give them a foothold.

They thought they had it, only to find that Alexandra Takounda's stunning finish was being checked upstairs. Another frenzy ensued when Cameroon learned there had been an offside in the build-up, play resuming once all staff and players had been calmed down.

Rocked by that close call, England reacted in sterling fashion with a match-killing goal through the left boot of Alex Greenwood, the left-back stroking home following a pre-planned corner routine.

That was where the scoring ended, but not the controversy. In the final minute of the contest, Houghton was scythed down by a brutal Takounda lunge, the striker catching her opponent with studs on the upper shin.

There was no red card for the Cameroonian, much to the surprise of Phil Neville and the rest of the England team. Nevertheless, the job was completed and a quarter final showdown with Norway had been secured.


France 2-1 Brazil

France were pushed all the way by Brazil in their round-of-16 match-up, needing extra-time to guarantee their safe passage to the quarters.

In a finely balanced game, Valerie Gauvin looked to have given the hosts an early breakthrough as she bundled in a hectic goal, though her score was disallowed for an apparent handball.

VAR took a look and decided that the forward had indeed handled as she collided with Brazil keeper Barbara, the ball ricocheting in off her arm.

She would not be denied her goal, however, notching after the break with a the net at her mercy. Kadidiatou Diani found space before cutting back for Gauvin, who duly poked in.

The South Americans responded immediately, rattling the bar via the head of Cristiane, the striker rising highest to meet a lofted free-kick.

They did manage to level soon after, though, Thaisa driving a loose ball into the back of the net. However, she was made to sweat before she could celebrate as yet another VAR check was required.

A stalemate ensued, only letting up in the second period of extra-time, when Amandine Henry slid across the turf to meet a deep cross, masterfully guiding it into the corner for a priceless lead that France never surrendered.

The European side can now prepare for a crunch match with Spain or tournament-favourites USA, whilst it's the end of the road for Brazil and their 33-year-old superstar Marta.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)