'Disgraceful': Player condemned over shocking World Cup incident

England coach Phil Neville praised one of his stars for her response to an "unacceptable" act from a rival player at the Women's World Cup.

An ill-tempered clash between England and Cameroon in the Women's World Cup last 16 saw a number of flashpoints that overshadowed the 3-0 win for the Lionesses.

Video replays appeared to pick up a despicable moment where Cameroon's Augustine Ejangue appeared to spit on Egland forward, Toni Duggan.

Neville described it as one of the "worst form of anything you can do on a football pitch" and commended his player's response to the drama.

"[The press officer] just mentioned it to me now," he told a press conference.

"I think it's pretty clear, so it's unacceptable.

"I will praise Toni Duggan because that, for me, is the worst form of anything you can do on a football pitch really. There's no place for it on a football pitch.

"Duggan was fantastic, the way she handled it. I think it showed the humility and class my players showed. She wiped it off her and got on with playing football. That, for me, makes me very proud."

England captain injured in spiteful clash

Neville said he was "ashamed" of the Cameroon players' behaviour throughout the contest, which was not short on controversy.

Goals from captain Steph Houghton, Ellen White and Alex Greenwood in Valenciennes took England through to the quarter-finals, where they will play Norway on Thursday.

However, the last-16 tie will be best remembered for the Cameroon players' furious response to several refereeing decisions, which included them apparently threatening to walk off the pitch at one point.

Neville was dealt a late blow as captain Houghton was the subject of a heavy challenge from Alexandra Takounda Engolo, who escaped with only a yellow card in the game’s closing stages.

Stephanie Houghton's injury will be a major concern for England. Pic: Getty
Stephanie Houghton's injury will be a major concern for England. Pic: Getty

Houghton missed her post-match media duties to receive treatment and Neville admitted that his staff face a tough task in getting her fit for the quarter-final against Norway.

"We're concerned about her, she's not someone who stays down,” he said.

"It was a late tackle and we're going to have to do everything possible to get her fit for the quarter-final. She's a big player for us, our captain, and her and Lucy Bronze were outstanding.

“Steph Houghton was player of the match and can't be here as she's on the treatment table, from the tackle that everyone saw.

“She needs to recover, she’s in a lot of pain. It’s not FIFA’s fault, this time.

"The big players stand up in the big occasion. I thought the composure of the two captains spread through the team."

With agencies