Mexico v Cameroon
The World Cup experiences further controversy as 2 goals are wrongly disallowed in Group A’s second game between Mexico and Cameroon.
Mexico : Ochoa, Aguilar, Rodriguez, Márquez, Moreno, Layún, Herrera (Salcido – 92′ ), Vázquez, Guardardo (Fabián – 69′ ), Dos Santos, Peralta (Hernández – 74′ )
Cameroon : Itandje, Djeugoue (Nounkeu – 45′ ), N’koulou, Chedjou, Assou-Ekotto, Mbia, Song (Webó – 79′ ), Enoh, Moukandjo, Eto’o, Choupo-Moting
Following a dismal display from referee Yuichi Nishimura in yesterday’s opening world cup match, there was a certain expectation on Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan to help prove to the world that FIFA had made some good refereeing appointments. However after just 4 minutes of game time the referee had already made a mistake, wrongly awarding Cameroon a goal kick for a cross that deflected off Benoit Assou-Ekotto. After a strong ten minutes from the Mexicans it seemed that they had taken the lead with dos Santos volleying home Aquilar’s whipped delivery, however the linesman promptly raised his flag and the goal was wrongly judged offside. Add in a denied penalty for a challenge by Chedjou, Mexico had their fair share of frustration at the refree. After a period of strong play from Cameroon, in which Eto’o struck the post with some brilliant work from Assou-Ekotto, Mexico managed to win themselves a corner and looked to goal. As the ball flew into the box it came to Giovani dos Santos again via the head of Chopou-Moting where the young Mexican put the ball in the back of the net with a neat headed finish, but again the goal was incorrectly given as offside.
What followed was a relatively close affair with Mexico dominating the majority of the possession and some pretty abysmal defending from both teams but with Mexico still deserving to lead. It was some 35 minutes after their 2nd disallowed goal that Mexico finally managed to go ahead, a Giovani dos Santos shot produced a fine save from Itandje and luckily Oribe Peralta was there to follow in. After 2 changes from Mexican manager Miguel Herrera, Hernandez and Fabian on for Guadrado and Peralta, ‘Los Manitos’ looked to have their oposition defeated and continued to control the game. But as the game went into the final minutes Cameroon came alive as Marquez made a vital block from an Eto’o shot and Moukandjo’s header forced an outstanding save from Guillermo Ochoa. Mexico had a chance to double their lead as Chicharito, the subsitute, missed a sitter following a cut back from left wing-back Layun after some excellent pressing play. The game ended 1-0 and means that Cameroon’s chances of progressing past the group stage have been severely dented as they look a team that will greatly struggle against both Croatia and Brazil, provided that is, the match officials are on their best behaviour.
Man of the Match : Giovani dos Santos
Chile v Australia
Chile (4-3-3): Bravo, Isla, Medel, Jara, Mena, Aranguiz, Diaz, Vidal (Guiterrez – 60′), Sanchez, Valdiva (Beausejour – 68′), Vargas (Pinalla – 88′)
Australia (4-4-1-1): Ryan, Franjic (McGowan – 48′), Wilkinson, Spiranovic, Davidson, Leckie, Jedinak, Milligan, Oar (Halloran – 69′), Bresciano (Troisi – 78′), Cahill
Chile went into the game as the dark horses of the tournament, every knew they were a special side after battering England at Wembley, as well as coming narrowly close to beating both Brazil and Germany away. Jorge Sampaoli’s team showed exactly why they were considered a team to beat, after going 2-0 up after just 14 minutes of play.
The first goal was poor defending from Australia as Aranguiz took out three players with a smart curved run in the box, and when he had the ball he sucked the keeper into no-man’s land and managed to put in a decent gross for Sanchez to calmly knock it home.
The second was just two minutes after the first goal and it truly showcased Chile’s class. Vargas’s diagonal run brought across the whole Australian defence, leaving Valdivia in tons of space and Sanchez managed to find him for Valdivia to smash it with his right foot into the top left hand corner of the net.
However as Chile looked to assert their dominance Australia managed to find a breakthrough, Franjic put in a hanging cross for Tim Cahill to do what he does best, he leaped well above Medel and headed into the top right corner, giving Bravo no chance.
After this Australia were the team who had the better chances, Cahill was put through just minutes after scoring but Bravo stood tall and pushed Cahill’s low drive out to safety. Then after half-time Bravo was again required to keep out Bresciano’s well struck shot, which looked destined to find the bottom corner of the net. In response to this great chance for Australia, Chile went up the other end and created one just as good that if it wasn’t for Wilkinson’s clearance of the line Vargas would of had his first of the evening.
In the end though Chile clinched the win with a vital goal coming from Beausejour, Pinalla was played through but after Ryan saved his shot, the rebound came for Wigan’s Beausejour who hit a low-drive from 20 yards.
This was a solid performance from Chile and will give them great confidence in believing they can get through this tough group stage. However they will need to be aware of the pressure their defence will come under when facing Spain and the Netherlands. Also Australia deserve a huge amount of credit for their energetic and persistent performance.
Man of the Match: Alexis Sanchez