Friday, 13th June
Mexico vs Cameroon
Mexico have never met Cameroon at a World Cup Finals before.
The two teams did meet in Los Angeles, prior to USA 94; Mexico winning by a solitary goal.
This is said to be the weakest Cameroon squad since 1982 but with
the attacking threats of Assou-Ekotto and Samuel Eto'o they just might feel they could get
the better of Mexico in Natal. Mexico in green and Cameroon in yellow; the going is wet.
Mexican fans will feel hard done by after seeing a Giovani dos Santos
goal ruled out for offside, after just ten minutes.
Ten minutes later, an excellent run down the left by Benoit
Assou-Ekotto almost resulted in a goal for Cameroon, but the snap shot from Samuel Eto'o
hit the post.
Just before the half-hour mark, Giovani dos Santos was denied a second
goal; again for 'offside'. One wonders if the referees are trying to make themselves a
bigger talking point than the games themselves.
These World Cup matches are so important that to let just one person
with a flag or whistle be the all-deciding judge sometimes makes a mokery of the
technology available to help judicate close calls in a fast-moving game. If only football
fans could be allowed to discuss the performance of players rather than the incompetence
Half-time: Mexico 0 - Cameroon 0
Shortly after the restart, Mexico were on the attack again; the flag
stayed down; clocks stopped in Yucatan; but the ball was blocked by Charles Itandje who
kept his legs closed, to prevent a nutmeg from Oribe Peralta.
On the hour, Mexico had the ball in the back of the Cameroon goal for the third time and
there was nothing the linesman could do about it. Charles Itandje intially saved from
Giovani dos Santos but could only palm the ball into the stride of Oribe Peralta; who was
already drooling at the mouth. No mistake.
Ten minutes later, the goalscorer was taken off to reserve his energy
for the encounter with Brazil, on Tuesday, in Fortaleza and replaced by Javier Hernandez.
On ninety minutes, Guillermo Ochoa made an acrobatic leap to catch
Benjamin Moukandjo's attempt on goal. One for the cameras more than anything, as the
Mexican hadn't had much to do for most of the game.
A minute later, substitute Javier Hernandez - in plenty of space and
with enough time to make a wave - hoofed the ball over the bar.
It could have been three for Mexico, who were by far the better team.
Cameroon were never really adventurous enough; until the final ten minutes, when they felt
in chance of a draw.
Final Score: Mexico 1 - Cameroon 0
1:0 - Oribe Peralta (60 mins)
13-Guillermo Ochoa; 7-Miguel Layun, 15-Hector Moreno, 4-Rafael Marquez, 2-Francisco
Rodriguez, 22-Paul Aguilar; 18-Andres Guardado, 23-Jose Vazquez, 6-Hector Herrera;
10-Giovani dos Santos, 19-Oribe Peralta.
16-Charles Itandje; 4-Cedric Djeugoue, 3-Nicolas N'Koulou, 14-Aurelien Chedjou, 2-Benoit
Assou-Ekotto; 6-Alex Song, 17-Stephane Mbia, 18-Eyong Enoh; 8-Benjamin Moukandjo, 9-Samuel
Eto'o, 13-Maxim Choupo-Moting.
Referee: Wilmar Roldan - Colombia
2 yellow cards:
57 mins - Hector Moreno (Mexico)
77 mins - 5 Dany Nounkeu (Cameroon)
Brazil vs Croatia
2014 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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