Cameroon players accuse FIFA of racism as VAR decisions favour England in 3 - 0 WIN
Cameroon players were furious with the decision and wasted three minutes before restarting the match And Cameroon tucked one away in the 48th minute, but England were saved by VAR as the goal was offside
England's Lionesses kicked off the knock-out stage of the Women's World Cup with a 3-0 win against Cameroon - in a game tainted by spitting and accusations of racism against the video assistant referee.
Tempers flared after a number of decisions appeared to go against the African nation, including two match-changing offsides at Stade du Hainaut in Valenciennes, France.
Striker Ellen White tucked away England's second during the first half's injury time - before it was ruled offside by Chinese referee Qin Liang, then overturned using the VAR system.
This sparked Cameroon players to furiously claim Nikita Parris, who was offside, was part of the play - despite her standing on the left side of the pitch and not touching the ball.
It kick-started the pantomime acts from the Cameroon players, who stalled for three minutes before restarting the match, without any punishment from the referee.
VAR replays are not shown on big screens inside the stadium, though 'normal' replays were - some of which seemed to indicate to the Cameroon players they were being unfairly treated.
Half time was called moments later, with the BBC's Gabby Logan saying the Cameroonians had burst into tears in the tunnel and accused FIFA of racism.
The players were seen speaking to a FIFA official in the centre of the pitch at half time, reportedly regarding their conduct during the first half.
Insult was added to injury after the break as Cameroon got a swift goal back in the 48th minute through Ajara Nchout, who drove home a long cross into the corner.
But the sloppy play at the back from England was saved by a close call for offside from the VAR team.
Cameroon protested again, with head coach Alain Djeumfa desperately trying to calm them down. But Nchout, who moments earlier had been celebrating, appeared inconsolable.
Alex Greenwood soon made it three for England, with an excellent run into the box to tuck away Toni Duggan's corner in the 57th minute.
VAR was not the only controversy in the match, with England fans left outraged after Augustine Ejangue spat on England's Toni Duggan in the opening phase.
The shocking incident came in the 13th minute as the referee awarded the Lionesses the indirect free-kick on the edge of the six-yard box.
The Indomitable Lionesses, were livid by the decision and Ejangue allowed her emotions to get the better of her as she spat at Duggan.
The Lioness pointed at the ball of saliva on her arm, but referee Liang chose not to punish the act.
Steph Houghton then dispatched the indirect free kick - which had been awarded for a backpass - for the opening goal.
Moments earlier, Cameroon's Yvonne Leuko also elbowed Nikita Parris in the face.
After Parris beat her down the right, the Cameroon defender took her anger out but only received a yellow.
And right at the death, with the game just seconds away from finishing, more VAR drama ensued following a horror challenge from Cameroon substitute Alexandra Takounda Engolo.
Engolo needlessly caught England captain Steph Houghton on the ankle with her studs and the referee rightly decided to take a look at VAR once again.
But a number of replays, Liang leniently decided to hand out a yellow card instead of a red, which would have been more than deserved.
The BBC pundits were left incensed following the horrific tackle, with Dion Dublin claiming it could have been a 'career-finisher'.
Dublin said: 'That could've been a career finisher. I'm not going over the top. When you catch somebody on the bone down the side of the shin, that can break quite easily, Steph's really lucky.'
Alex Scott agreed: 'This is like a leg-breaker, at that stage of the game on the captain. It's the fact the referee has to allow it to go to VAR, she's not even seen it herself, for me is embarrassing.'
At the final whistle, the reactions from the two sets of players were markedly different.