Just when we all thought nothing could outdo the drama of yesterday’s opening matches of the knockout round the first game today proved us all wrong.
The 3-0 victory for England over Cameroon appears to show a game where England cruised and dominated the match. Cameroon created plenty of their own chances and it felt like the team deserved to get a goal. Despite a less than stellar performance from England, they were able to get the job done and advance.
The scoring opened up in the 14th minute from a Cameroon miscue. England crossed the ball into the box and landed at the feet of Cameroon defender, Augustine Ejangue, she tapped the ball back knowing England was right behind her. The Cameroon keeper picked the ball up causing the referee to blow her whistle and issue an indirect free kick just outside the 6-yard box. England easily scored from the close-range opportunity.
England doubled their lead late in the first half from a goal initially disallowed due to an offside call. But after VAR the goal was allowed which created an irate Cameroon side. They immediately began arguing with the referee and then had an unprecedented team timeout during the game. The referee eventually got the game back on and the first half ended.
Fans were hoping the second half would prove to be a different half with less controversy and more soccer. However, an assumed goal by Cameroon in the opening minutes of the second half was overturned due to an offside call. Cameroon became upset in disbelief from the call.
Eight minutes after the no goal for Cameroon, England capitalized and scored a goal off of a corner going up 3-0. The rest of the game would be chippy with high emotion. Hard fouls and arguments flooded the match having everyone take a sigh of relief when the final whistle blew. After the win for England, their coach, Phil Neville, was beside himself with what unfolded in the game. He believed the game was a misrepresentation of women’s soccer.
Whether the play on the field was right, wrong or indifferent at the end of the day England moves on, but they will have to play better in all facets if they want to take down an impressive Norway team. England will look to regroup and play a complete game in their quarterfinal matchup Thursday against Norway at 3 pm ET on FOX.
The drama for today may not be over. France and Brazil play next at 3 pm ET on FOX. United States’ fans will be keeping a close eye on this game since the winner would play the US assuming the beat Spain tomorrow.