12 mins: White latches onto a pass and whacks a cross along the six-yard box towards Duggan but it is intercepted by Ejangue who only succeeds in knocking the ball back to her ‘keeper and it’s a backpass.
England have an extra fan.
10 mins: Duggan sends in a cross but it is cleared out to Parris who can’t find a way through to goal from the edge of the area and Cameroon sweep up once again. Parris then gets to the byline and lifts one to the front post which is easily gathered.
Re the elbow …
8 mins: Cameroon are already wasting time and when they do have the ball just send it very long without much of an aim.
6 mins: Cameroon are looking to play on the break in this match and therefore barely had a kick.
Charles Antaki questions more of the selection choices today: “The BBC has the ruminative, side-trackable Jonatan Pierce commenting – shame they’ve not stuck with Robyn Cowen, who’s been excellent so far – direct, concise, relaxed, and less given to distraction. Unlikely as it is, this could be England’s last game here, so it would be a shame not at least be seen out by a female commentator.”
4 mins: Parris tries to go round Leuko who whacks her elbow into the England winger’s face. She is booked but surely it needs to go up to VAR as that is a red card! But nothing happens because the use of VAR in this tournament has been pathetic.
2 mins: England are looking to keep possession early on here and they know they will have a lot of the ball today, not to mention the fact that it is pretty warm at pitch level, so they won’t want to overexert themselves too much. Feudjio clatters into Bronze, just for fun. Could be a physical game.
Let’s get ready to rumble!!
Phil West wants to chat more Lineker v Cameroon in 1990: “I watched that game at my fiancee’s house in Istanbul – one of the most stressful England games ever! For the only time in my life I walked out of the room when GL had his second penalty – just couldn’t watch!! Let’s hope that doesn’t happen tonight!btw – still married 29 years later!!”
Phil’s been married almost as long as I’ve been alive …
The anthems are being pumped out in Valenciennes. The stadium looks pretty much full, which is great news for the game.
Dion Dublin says England need to keep their discipline and cannot be drawn into a physical battle. England are the better side here so need to just play their own way.
The big man himself has been on …
A US fan has filed some needle in my inbox: “So which member of this England team is tasked with the Lineker role of falling over in the box when this Cameroon team proves more than a pushover?”
We are all waiting for the first VAR of the day!
I am a big Demi Stokes fan having seen quite a few Man City games last season, so I am surprised she is seen as second-choice left-back in this team. Alex Greenwood has looked good when she has played, though, so merits the chance to start in the knockout stages.
James Anderson has been in touch: “hi my name is james Anderson and i hope England women will win the game.”
Good to hear …
Steph Houghton is confident of Karen Bardsley’s ability when it comes to saving penalties if a shootout is required.
“KB is probably the most prepared keeper I’ve ever played with,” the defender said. “The keepers do a lot of work. We’ve got four great keepers. KB showed what she was about (against Japan), Carly did the same against Argentina.
“When those moments matter, people step up and they’re the match winners. For me, if it came to a shoot-out then I’d have full faith in the keepers we have.”
Rob Harris emails in his disdain: “Just seen the England team sheet and amazed he has left their only authentic playmaker Karen Carney on the bench again. Kirby has a tendency to give the ball away and make the wrong decisions and England improved significantly when Carney replaced her against Argentina, and also when she came on against France. Neville is supposed to rate her highly but it seems not.”
A bit of a chat with Karen Carney …
A slightly frustrating lineup for England, as it is almost a perfect 1 to 11 but Ellen White starting over Jodie Taylor means we have No 18 on the pitch, rather than the No 9. What a shame for tradition.
Nchout scored twice in the win over New Zealand and is Cameroon’s main threat. Njie Enow tells us more about the forward …
Neville has gone with Kirby over Stanway despite the Chelsea player’s performance during the tournament. One assumes Kirby will be motivated to prove her worth to the team on a day like this.
What’s keeping Phil Neville up at night? Not much really …
Lineups: England v Cameroon
England: Bardsley, Bronze, Houghton, Bright, Greenwood, Walsh, Scott, Parris, Kirby, Duggan, White
Cameroon: Ngo Ndom, Nchout, Leuko, Ejangue, Johnson, Aboudi Onguene, Feudjio, Yango, Awona, Enganamouit, Abam
The knockout stages are upon us and it’s a key date in Phil Neville’s calendar as the Lionesses look to show what they’re made of when it really matters. After get through a tough group without reaching fifth gear, the players know there is plenty more to come.
Neville says he is yet to see anything that scares him at this World Cup. Cameroon really shouldn’t put much fear into this England side, but they have shown they can mix it with the best in France. They beat New Zealand in dramatic fashion to get this far and the Kiwis saw off England in a recent friendly, which is a sign of the danger that they offer.
The football will probably all be irrelevant and we’ll just be discussing VAR for the 90 minutes anyway.