Cameroon can’t afford second loss

2014-06-15 15:00

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Cameroon proved in their 1-0 loss to Mexico on Friday that they still have a lot to do if they are to keep the continent’s hopes alive in Brazil.

The Indomitable Lions’ defeat to Mexico means they have to avoid another loss, this time to Croatia on Wednesday – a second negative result could lead to the Samuel Eto’o-led side exiting in the first round.

Apart from handing the Mexicans a first win against an African opponent at the World Cup, Cameroon and Croatia remain at the bottom of Group A with no points.

The West African giants have not won a World Cup game since 2002 when they beat Saudi Arabia in Korea/Japan.

They went home with nothing following defeats to Japan, Denmark and the Netherlands in South Africa four years ago.

Cameroon’s defence is vulnerable when under siege. And coach Volker Finke’s midfield, marshalled by Barcelona anchor-man Alex Song, failed to win battles in the middle of the park.

Cameroon play Brazil on June 23, when the hosts are likely to continue to lead the group’s standings, even though they showed some weaknesses in their opening match.

Like Cameroon, Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men’s main flaw in the opening match was their defence.

The Seleção – Brazil – face an enthusiastic El Tri – Mexico – side on Tuesday. In the Mexico vs Cameroon game, Giovanni dos Santos and talismanic striker Oribe Peralta were the chief attackers. Peralta (30) netted 10 goals during the qualifiers and his winner against Cameroon was his ninth strike in nine appearances.

He is the man who has kept Manchester United striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernández out of the starting 11.

In Group B, Spain didn’t see their 5-1 thrashing coming in their game against the Netherlands on Friday. Chile will further test the defending champions’ credentials in their game on Wednesday.

The on-form Oranje – the Netherlands – face Australia in another group match in an earlier kickoff the same day.

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