Well, other than the forearm swipe in the 7th minute, the potential threat to not play after conceding a second goal, the crunching treading on an ankle with 60 seconds to go, oh, and a general violent approach that is so out of kilter to the conduct and appeal of World Cup ’19, I had some sympathy for Cameroon.
Cos they were unlucky. The back pass was one of horrible mis-judgements leaving the keeper in a dilemma, the subsequent point-blank free kick was gonna be stopped until the keeper pushed it around the far-post guard, England’s second goal. was the kind that used to be ruled as offside, and their disallowed goal was offside for the sake of the lower leg.
All on top of a grievance in the country’s footballing psyche burning since Italia ’90; England got 2 penalties in that quarter-final when they looked ready to fall 2-1. (And Gary Lineker did a piece for this evening’s broadcast basically admitting he’d dived for the second penalty.)
Remember too that England’s population is double theirs and our wealth per person is 17 times higher.
Tedious to hear BBC commentators whinge about the time taken to do VAR and the referee – if a side decide they are mounting a protest, patience (whilst they realise they have nowhere to go) is the only option.
and Phil Neville didn’t criticise the referee once.
From the Guardian –
… but the referee, diplomatically, refrained from making those decisions due to genuine fears the match would descend into total anarchy. By the end she genuinely seemed to fear for her physical safety.
“The referee was trying to protect football by not giving the penalty or the sending-off at the end when Steph’s ankle was stamped on – I admire the referee unbelievably,” said Neville …