World Cup debut for Arsenal’s Williamson
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal’s Leah Williamson made her Women’s World Cup debut as England ran out 3-0 winners over Cameroon in the last 16 in France, writes Joshua Bunting.
Williamson came on as an 84th-minute substitute for Phil Neville's Lionesses, as she replaced Nikita Parris.
And England were good value for the win which set up a quarter-final meeting with Norway on Thursday.
Captain Steph Houghton lashed in the opening goal of the tie after an early back pass gave England an indirect free-kick inside the box, guiding the ball low into the bottom corner.
On the stroke of the break it was 2-0 as former Gunners striker Ellen White fired in a sweet first-time finish to equal Kelly Smith's record as all time top goalscorer for England at a World Cup.
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However the Manchester City striker was made to wait due to a VAR review that initially ruled the goal out.
This enraged the Cameroon team and chaos descended in Valenciennes as twice they huddled together not wanting to restart the match, clearly furious with VAR overturning the decision.
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More controversy was to follow as an English defensive mix-up allowed Ajara Nchout to shoot beyond Karen Bardsley and he referee awarded the goal, only for it to be disallowed following another VAR review.
Manchester United captain Alex Greenwood sealed the win on 58 minutes as she fired home following a well-worked corner routine with Toni Duggan.
The Lionesses were then denied a penalty as Fran Kirby weaved her way into the box before being brought down by Ysis Sonkeng and a VAR check went against awarding a spot-kick.
England could and probably should have added a fourth in injury time as Jodie Taylor was played in, but she mis-hit her low effort from close range.
Williamson's Arsenal teammate Beth Mead was an used substitute but had featured in group games against Scotland and Argentina and will hope to be part of the starting line-up on Thursday.