World Cup Round-up: France see of Brazil in extra time while England beat Cameroon in bad-tempered affairSun, Jun 23 2019
Hosts France were pushed all the way in Le Havre before advancing to the quarter-finals at the expense of Brazil, whose long wait for a World Cup title goes on for at least another four years.
Valerie Gauvin had given France the lead early in the second half but Thaisa equalised just past the hour mark to force another 30 minutes, and Amandine Henry provided the winner in extra time.
In the afternoon game, England saw off the challenge of Cameroon with a comprehensive 3-0 win that was marred by two prolonged protests from the African side.
All eyes were on Stade Oceane for the night game, however, as a France side dominated by the all-conquering Olympique Lyonnais took on the Selecao of Brazil.
Les Blues began the game at a frenetic pace in a bid to unsettle the more technical visitors, but clear-cut chances were at a premium until VAR was called into action in the 26th minute.
Gauvin thought she’d nodded her side in front but, following a lengthy review, the French striker was deemed to have headed the ball out of keeper Barbara’s hands.
The Montpellier forward got the goal she was seeking seven minutes after the break as a smart turn and blistering run from Kadidiaatou Diani ended in Gauvin sliding the ball into an empty net.
It took Brazil just 12 minutes to equalise when Wendie Renard failed to clear Debinha’s cross and Thasia swept the ball home first time.
The goal was initially ruled out for offside but, as has become a recurring theme at this World Cup, a VAR review saw the referee overturn the original decision and allow the goal.
France continued to play at an electric pace but, naturally, they began to tire and, come extra time, both sides became increasingly ragged.
It would be France who would find the winner, however, captain Henry meeting Amel Majri’s wonderfully-weighted free kick to volley home from close range.
Earlier on, in Valenciennes, VAR dominated a game high on incident but low on real quality (read Dave Donnelly’s match report here).
First-half goals from Steph Houghton and Ellen White gave the Lionesses a commanding lead at the break and, after Ajara Nchout’s strike was disallowed for offside, Alex Greenwood settled the tie.
England struggled to break down an ultra-defensive Cameroon side early doors but they got the break they needed when keeper Annette Ngo Ndom picked up a backpass from Augustine Ejangue.
From the resulting free kick six yards out, the combined breadth of all 11 Cameroon players couldn’t keep Houghton’s shot from bulging the net.
White doubled the lead in first-half injury time with a fine improvised finish and, after initially being chalked off for offside, the goal was given following a VAR review.
Cameroon thought they’d halved the deficit three minutes after the break when Nchout capped off a fine passing move to blast home Gabrielle Onguene’s cross.
The goal initially stood but was later referred to VAR and, following more prolonged analysis, it was deemed that Onguene was offside by the slimmest of margins.
Cameroon protested vociferously, as they had the second England goal, and looked like they were unwilling to continue but the game eventually restarted.
Greenwood capitalised on a lapse in the Cameroon preparation for a corner to sweep home Toni Duggan’s low cross and England booked a quarter-final date with Norway.