Jill Scott strikes the ball while playing for EnglandGetty Images

Could this England stat mean winning the World Cup is written in the stars?

Everyone knows that phrase 'eighth time's a charm' right?

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Kevin Beirne
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The women’s World Cup is running full-tilt now with the tournament into the knockout stages. The good news is (if you're an England fan that is) that if we delve back into England's World Cup history, there's a stat which suggests they probably should win the competition this summer. 

They have of course booked their place in the last eight already with a 3-0 win over Cameroon but the game was not without its controversies. The Cameroonian side looked like they were going to walk off the field after disagreeing over the decision to award Ellen White’s goal and then again when they had a goal ruled out for offside. 

That meant that once again, much of the focus was on VAR...

1) VARy interesting

After success as the men’s World Cup last summer, it’s fair to say that VAR has made a less than positive impression in France this year, with frequent VAR referrals upsetting the flow of the games.

Are officials using it unnecessarily?

England’s win over Cameroon wasn’t the only one to court VAR controversy, and there does appear to be a common thread running through some of these games...

2) Great Scott!

Amidst the drama of the win over Cameroon, you could have easily missed the fact that Jill Scott is now England’s most experienced World Cup player ever.

3) History in the making

While the men have been battling it out for the World Cup title since 1930, the first women’s edition of the tournament only took place in 1991.

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This is the eighth women’s World Cup. So who won the eighth men’s World Cup? We’ll give you a hint: it was in 1966. Written. In. The. Stars. 

4) Cameroon out = lazy cliché out? 

Along with Cameroon, Nigeria were eliminated over the weekend as the Super Eagles suffered a 3-0 defeat of their own at the hands of Germany.

The two defeats leaves no African sides in the competition, likely taking one of football’s most enduring - and lazy - clichés with them.

5) Ice-cold Norway

Norway kept their cool as they beat Australia 4-1 in a penalty shootout on Saturday, showing ruthless efficiency from the spot.

Pedantic's corner: It's Ben Lyttleton though. 

6) Heroes’ welcome

They may not have made the knockout stages after missing out on one of the best third-place spots but the over-achieving Argentina side captured the attention of the public at home.

7) You call that late drama...

Meanwhile in the men’s game, England crashed out of the U21 European Championship as Aidy Boothroyd’s side suffered some late drama against Romania.

England U21s switched out half their team from their opening defeat to France, leading to more questions than answers.

8) THIS is late drama!

While there were six goals in the final 18 minutes of England’s defeat, the only stoppage time goal saw Romania extend their lead.

There was some much later drama in the Korean League as Gangwon scored three goals in added time to complete their comeback from 4-0 down to beat the Pohang Steelers 5-4.

9) Downing and out 

A well-balanced squad means an awful lot in football, and Blackburn have gone the extra mile to make sure nothing gets their squad out of sync.

10) Clash of the titans

These big-name pre-season friendlies are really getting out of hand...