Posted by News Express | 19 June 2014 | 3,261 times
Africa’s nightmare at the on-going Brazil 2014 World Cup continued early this morning when the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon were bundled out after being humiliated 4-0 in their second Group A match decided at the Arena Amazonia Manaus.
The Cameroonians, who finished the game with ten men will conclude their doomed campaign against the hosts, Brazil – having lost their opening fixture by an unreplied goal against Mexico last Friday.
Niko Kovac’s side had impressed in spells against Brazil in their opening match and their class told in the demolition of the Central Africans. The goal harvest started in the 11th minute when Ivica Olic, 34, became his country’s oldest World Cup goalscorer, firing home first time with his left foot after being teed up at close range by Ivan Perisic’s perfectly weighted pass.
Perisic was a dangerous and influential player throughout, and he found the net with nine minutes of the first half remaining, directing a powerful header just over. Cameroon had barely threatened at this stage and their frustration boiled over four minutes later when Alex Song earned an inevitable straight red card for a off-the-ball arm in the back of Mario Mandzukic. That show of indiscipline made an already difficult task near-impossible, and Croatia effectively moved out of sight just three minutes into the second period.
This goal was something of a personal disaster for Charles Itandje, whose botched clearance was seized upon at the halfway line by Perisic. Plenty of work remained to be done, but the Wolfsburg midfielder’s pace took him clear in the left channel and he deceived Itandje by shaping to cross and instead side-footed into the net at the keeper’s abandoned near post.
Croatia continued to dominate and Mandzukic could and should have added a third shortly after when he raced clean through only to delay his shot too long and, under pressure, scoop the ball wide. But the Bayern Munich striker would not be denied, and he completed a brace midway through the half. The first saw him rise unchallenged at corner to bullet home a downward header, while the second came about when he profited from another mistake by Itandje, who spilled a tame Eduardo shot at the feet of Croatia’s predatory No17.
The scoreline offered just reward for Kovac’s side’s overall superiority, and they will now hope to continue their free-scoring ways against a Mexico team that shut out the hosts.
•Partly based on official FIFA match report. Photo, also courtesy of FIFA, shows the Croatians triumphantly walking off the pitch after demolishing Cameroon . . . early this morning at the Arena Amazonia Manaus, Brazil.
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