Zee Media Bureau/Dattaraj Thaly
New Delhi: Mexico beat Cameroon by a solitary goal in the second match of Group A in Natal. Oribe Peralta scored the all important goal for the Mexicans as they kicked off their 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign on a winning note.
With this win, Mexico are on second place in the standings behind Brazil on goal difference. It was important for them to pick up full points as their next two games are against Brazil and Croatia.
Cameroon did not create too many chances in the match with star man Samuel Eto'o not making any impact for the Africans. Javier Hernandez started on the bench for the Mexicans and came on only late during the second half.
FULL TIME: Mexico 1- 0 Cameroon
90+2'- Substitution by Mexico. Herrera comes off while Salcido comes on.
90+2'- Hernandez misses a sitter. Layun fought hard to win back possession on the left side for Mexico and he quickly crossed the ball which was shot wide by the open Hernandez. He was open in front of goal. What a miss to put this game to bed.
90' - Assou-Ekotto fires in a ball inside the dangerous area. The ball is aimed at Moukandjo who heads powerfully but Ochoa pulls off a the save.
86' - Moukandjo crosses from the right flank to Eto'o but the dangerous ball is expertly cut out by Rodriguez who has been excellent today in defense.
84' - Giovani is threatening Cameroon again here as he cuts in from the right and curls a lovely cross in the middle of the box. Javer "Little Pea"Hernandez tries his best but does meet the ball.
82' - That corner sums up Cameroon's effort today. Poor delivery, which is cleared by Mexico. They launch a counter-attack as Hernandez pick up the ball and indulges in a lovely one-two before cutting a through the legs of the defender. But Fabian can't reach the ball in time.
80' - Cameroon with an opportunity to level things up here in Natal. They have earned a corner. It appears as though, their best chance will come off a set-piece.
78' - Giovani chips a ball in the hope of finding a teammate. The ball is cleared by the Cameroon defense. Rodriguez picks up the lose ball and shots off target.
77' - Clumsy challenge from Nounkeu on Fabian. He gets a yellow carded for his rash tackle. Good position for a free-kick for the Mexicans this.
76' - Giovani showing why he has been rated one of the finest players of Mexico. He snatches back the possession from Moukandjo and gets fouled in the process.
74' - Mexico are looking a lot more confident and assured after scoring the first goal. The Africans like the first 10 minutes of the match are looking a bit rattled.
73' - The goal scorer Peralta comes off to a huge applause from the Mexican fans inside the stadium. On comes Javier Hernández
70' - Javier Hernandez is ready to come on now. This looks ominous for Cameroon. The Manchester United striker is perfect for such situations. He has made a habit of scoring late goals for his club.
69' - Substitution for Mexico as Jose Andrés Guardado comes off and he is replaced by Fabián.
67' - Cameroon are now trying to speed up things. Mexico staying as compact as possible. This is the most crucial phase of play.
65' - Play has been stopped now as Samuel Eto'o has requested for medical help. He looks jaded from a collision with the Mexican captain Marquez. Nothing serious.
63' - Finke will have to change his strategy now. Mexico have deserved their lead.
61' - Giovani's effort is saved Itandje, the rebound falls to Peralta who slots the ball into the net with a clinical finish.
GOAL! O. Peralta
57' - M'Bia bombs forward and runs at Moreno dazzling him with a few stopovers, who fouls the Cameroonian. Free-kick to the Africans and the first yellow card for Moreno.
56' - Peralta fouls Song in the middle of the park. Late and unnecessary challenge by the Mexican. Again, the ref decides to let him go with a warning.
52' - Smart by Choupo-Moting there as he ran at Moreno but his deflected cross is safely collected by Ochoa.
50' - Song clashes with Dos Santos in the middle of the park. Song offers his apology but Giovani has come off worse from this collision. He hobbles back to his feet. No card for Song.
48' - Giovani threaded through a glorious ball through for Peralta who got his shot of quickly, which was blocked by the Cameroon goalie who was quick off the blocks.
46' - Cameroon kick things off in the second half. Moukandjo makes a marauding run, cutting inside from the right flank. But Layun halts him in his tracks.
Cameroon have had a change - Cedric Djeugoue off. Dany Nounkeu on.
Players are now coming out for the second half. Its pouring down now inside the stadium. The fans have their rain-gear on. They are soaking in the atmosphere. Here we go for the last 45 minutes of the second match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
HT: Mexico 0 - 0 Cameroon
It was a first half with a lot of rain and disallowed goals - 3 in total. Mexico will consider themselves unlucky as two of their goals were ruled out. However, Cameroon have done well to make a strong comeback into the match after early domination by the Mexican's. No doubt, the three disallowed goals will be the biggest talking points of this half. Not many clear cut chances for either team during the first half. But Cameroon will consider themselves lucky to go into the break with the score at 0-0.
45' - Giovani holds off Chedjou and moves into a good position, but his brings his opponent down. Corner ordered by the ref.
43' - Herrera puts in a ball to Giovani. After a poor first touch, Dos Santos shoots the ball into a Cameroon player.
41'- Aguilar threads a fine ball behind Cameroon's defence. Peralta sprints to meet the ball but the goalkeeper is first to the ball.
39' - M'Bia should consider himself very lucky there. He clattered into Guardado with his forearm into the Mexican's face. That could have been a yellow card on another day.
37' - Song and M'Bia have not been able to stamp their authority on this match. But the Africans are seeing a lot more of the ball. Mexico are not exercising as much influence as they would like on this match.
35' - Poor ball from Song. Rodriguez clears the ball with his head on the edge of the area. Assou-Ekotto picks up the pieces and fires on from distance. The ball sails into the crowd.
33' - M'Bia glides past Guardado and in the process wins a free-kick for his team, which Song will take.
30' - UNBELIEVABLE! Third goal of the match has been disallowed for an off-side. Giovani headed the ball into the bottom left corner off the corner. Replay shows the ball was flicked off the head of a Cameroon players. Another doubtful call by the ref. Dos Santos is livid.
28' - Its pouring in Nadal now. Another corner for Mexico as Layun's ball is put out for a corner by N'Koulou
26' - Cameroon have comeback nicely into this match after early domination by the Mexicans. They are stringing passes together and holding possession well.
25' - Choupo-Moting's cruching tackle has Aguilar on the ground. Despite him getting the ball, the ref calls a foul.
22' - Another chance forEto'o. Assou-Ekotto's cross from the left flank after a long sprint was not cleanly met by the striker. Ball goes out wide of the Mexico goal.
20' - HIgh boot near inside the center-circle by Vazquez. He is penalized the the Colombian referee. The foul was on Song. The yellow card stays in the ref's pocket.
18' - Eto'o was racing in on goal but was masterfully halted by a timely tackle by Moreno. Superb last minute effort from the defender.
16' - M'Bia's flick-on a header, which arrives at the feet of Moukandjo, who slots the ball in the back of the net. Goal is ruled out for an off-side. Both teams have one goal each disallowed now.
15' - M'Bia earns a corner for Cameroon down the right. First corner for the Africans. All their big men are up for it.
14' - Cameroon are living dangerously at the moment. Mexico may soon get past their offside trap.
12' - Aguilar puts in a nice cross from the right, which Giovani volleys past Itandje. The ref rules the goal out citing an off-side. That was close.
9' - Layun gets behind Cameroon's defense this time and releases Djeugoue whose final delivery is poor.
7' - Peralta and Gio are pressuring Cameroon into making errors at the back.
6' - Layun and Aguilar and bombing forward at every opportunity. The Mexicans are constantly on the attack. Cameroon are struggling to match up to the faced paced Mexicans.
6' - Aguilar at the end of a wonderful move from Mexico, wastes an opportunity to put in a dangerous cross.
4' - Herrera seeing a lot of the ball for Mexico. He is causing some problems for the Africans.
2' - Attack from Mexico from their right but the ball is smashed into the side netting.
1' - Assou-Ekotto lobs the ball forward along the left flank. But the ball is pushed out wide.
Mexican team is in a huddle. Last minute advice handed out to his players by Marquez
Both captains have exchanged pleasantries and the players are taking positions.
Both sets of players sing their national anthem with complete passion. This is what the World Cup is about. Rapturous applause from the fans.
Like Brazil fans yesterday, the Mexico fans are out in all their glory to cheer their team on. Estadio das Dunas is looking extremely colorful today.
Cameroon have put out a strong side with surprises. Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Stephane M'Bia, Alex Song and Eto'o all start.
Mexico Ochoa, Rodriguez, Marquez (c), Herrera, Layun, Dos Santos, Moreno, Guardado, Peralta, Aguilar, Vazquez
Cameroon: Itandje, Assou-Ekotto, Nkoulou, Djeugoue, Song, Moukandjo, Eto'o (c), Choupo Moting, Chedjou, Mbia, Enoh
Brazil being favorites have already set the pace in this group. It is widely expected that the Selecao would win this group, which is why this encounter will help boost the chances of the team that would be potential second place finishers.
Mexico`s star striker will commence this match from the bench due to his recent struggles in front of goal. Despite him being the country`s third all-time highest goal-scorer, Mexico coach Miguel Herrera has made it clear Giovani dos Santos and Oribe Peralta would be starting ahead of the Manchester United man.
Cameroon have dropped Mohamadou Idrissou from the final squad along with four other players. The striker from Kaiserslautern has not been in great form and even missed a penalty in a friendly against Paraguay recently. There was a lot of trouble brewing in the Cameroon camp as players had refused to board the plane to Brazil over an issue of bonuses.
Samuel Eto`o will lead the African`s against a Mexican side that has failed to reach the Round of 16 in the last five editions of the FIFA World Cup.