Cameroon go home

Reading time 3 min.

With both sides desperate for a win to boost their hopes of reaching the knockout stages, this Cameroon-Denmark turned out to be one of the most entertaining games of the 2010 World Cup. Sadly, the brave Lions lacked the efficiency to beat the Danes.

It was en eventful week before a make or break Cameroon-Denmark this Saturday. Between Eto’o’s call out of Paul Le Guen’s tactics and clanic infights, the Indomitable Lions had a lot to prove to their fans as well as the rest of the world. If they wanted to progress to round 2, as they claimed throughout the pre-tournament month, the Lions needed to win. Doing so with class would only be added bonus.

Straight from the beginning, Cameroon turned on the style. Paul Le Guen bowed to peer pressure and added Geremi, Alexander Song and Achille Emana in the starting XI as well as – finally – putting Samuel Eto’o as the spearhead of his front line. The pay off was immediate as Eto’o managed to score his 45th goal for Cameroon. 10th minute : Simon Kjaer plays a ludicrous blind pass straight to Achille Webo and his ball into the box finds that man Samuel Eto’o in space – he takes a touch and fires clinically past Thomas Sorensen. The Lions captain joined Roger Milla, Francois Omam Biyik and Patrick Mboma and become only the fourth Cameroon player to score in multiple World Cups.

But after this franctic start, the African suddenly stepped off the pedal and slowly let the Danes pull back. Gradually, Morten Olsen and his men came back in the game and managed to level up just pas the half hour mark. If it was Simon Kjaer’s fault that Denmark fell behind, it’s down to him they’re level. He plays a stunning 50-yard pass from centre-back to Dennis Rommedahl on the right and his pace enables him to slip over a cross for Nicklas Bendtner to slide in inside the six-yard box.

Rommedahl saves Danish bacon

And then went crazy as hooray football kicked in. 42th minute : Denmark should be ahead. Nicklas Bendtner slips Dennis Rommedahl through but after he is denied, Jon Dahl Tomasson’s shot is blocked by a Cameroon defender. 43rd minute : Denmark’s defence goes missing twice in quick succession as Samuel Eto’o slams one shot against the post from inside the box and then moments later Achille Emana bursts past two defenders only to see one shot hit Thomas Sorensen and fire the rebound wide.

The second half wasn’t as lively. Except for one attempt that made the Pretoria stadium go quiet. A ball out to the right for Denmark catches Dennis Rommedahl on the run and his pace is too much for Jean Makoun to handle – he lets the winger run past him in the box and from eight yards he bends a left-foot shot around Hamidou Souleymanou and into the corner.

The Netherlands are the first team into the last 16 of the World Cup and Cameroon are the first team to be knocked out of the tournament. At least they can’t be accused of a lack of effort tonight having played their part in one of the most entertaining games of the World Cup so far.

2010 World Cup  South Africa's preparation to host the games on African soil for the first time but also individual African countries' determination to take part in the historic event. Five African countries - Cameroon, Nigeria, Algeria, South Africa and Ghana - are selected to join twenty seven teams from around the world to battle it out on the football pitch for the gold trophy. One by one, the African teams are eliminated, but Africans will not be bogged down as they rally behind their compatriots on the wings of the vuvuzela, a far cry from the near diplomatic row between Algeria and Egypt during the qualifiers. Ghana are the last team to leave but not before African unity becomes reality...
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