England, France through to last 8

PARIS: England beat Cameroon 3-0 on Sunday in a match marred by protests from the African side, while hosts France needed 106 minutes to overcome Brazil 2-1 and book their spot in the Women World Cup’s quarterfinals.
England, who have not conceded a goal yet in the tournament, saw off Cameroon in a match trickier than the scoreline would suggests thanks to goals from captain Steph Houghton in the 14th, Ellen White shortly before the end of the first half and Alex Greenwood in the 58th.
White’s goal, her fourth in the tournament, was initially ruled out for offside in a call that was overturned by the video assistant referee (VAR), leading to the African side protesting and a long delay in play in Valenciennes.
A goal by Ajara Nchout early in the second half was then disallowed by the VAR, which ruled that assist provider Gaelle Enganamouit was offside in the build up to it.
The call frustrated Nchout in particular, who had to be calmed down by coach Alain Djeumfa.
“That was not football, I didn’t recognise it and I didn’t enjoy it,” England coach Phil Neville told BBC’s Match of the Day programme of Cameroon’s protests, adding that he had no sympathy for the opposing team.
“The rules are rules. For the second goal, Ellen White was onside, deal with it,” he said.
Later on Sunday the hosts booked the fourth slot in the quarterfinals after overcoming Brazil in a tense match in Le Havre.
Valerie Gauvin, who in the first half had a goal disallowed for a foul on goalkeeper Barbara, gave Les Bleus the lead with a sliding strike in the 52nd, but Brazil equalised 11 minutes later with Thaisa.
The Selecao had the first clear cut opportunity in extra time as Debinha broke through the French defence to beat keeper Sarah Bouhaddi. However, Griedge Mbock Bathy pulled off an incredible goal-line clearance to deny the Brazilian.
In the end it was France’s captain, Amandine Henry, that gave the hosts the win with a perfectly timed volley off a set piece by Amel Majri in the second period of extra time.
“We did what we needed to do tonight but it wasn’t easy. Brazil were very tough and gave us a real run for our money, even in extra time. Fortunately we were able to pull it out of the bag,” French coach Corinne Diacre said post-match.
“I’m proud of our performance, the grit that we showed until the end.That’s the feeling that I will keep with me. Those are the kind of matches that will help women’s football to continue to grow,” Brazilian striker Marta said after the defeat.
England, who scored in a record nine successive World Cup games, will next face Norway on Thursday while France are heading to Paris whereon Friday they will play the winner of Monday’s clash between the US and Spain. — dpa