Football / World Cup USA '94: Lions know they must go for kill

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The Independent Online
CAMEROON know that nothing but victory over Russia today can keep them in the World Cup, but they could hardly go into their final Group B match in greater disarray.

Crushed by Brazil 3-0 on Friday, and with only one point from a 2-2 draw with Sweden, goalkeeper Joseph-Antoine Bell's walk-out in a row with officials has deepened the off-pitch chaos which began with a row over money.

But Cameroon overcame similar problems to reach the quarter- finals in Italy in 1990 and Henri Michel, their French-born coach expects his Indomitable Lions to maul the hapless Russians, who have been beaten by Brazil and Sweden. 'We know what is ahead of us and there is only one thing we must do - that is win.' Michel said.

A win would give Cameroon four points and an outside chance of sneaking ahead of Sweden into second place if the Swedes lose heavily to Brazil. But qualification as one of the best third-placed teams is more likely.

The omens are hardly encouraging for Cameroon who were thrashed 4-0 in Italia '90 by a Soviet Union side that had also lost its opening two games.

Bell's decision to walk out, after officials tried to force Michel to replace him, is a big blow but the experienced reserve goalkeeper, Thomas Nkono, performed well when he replaced Bell in similar circumstances in Italy.

The suspension of the 17-year- old defender Rigobert Song, who was sent off against Brazil, could mean a recall for one of the 1990 veterans, Andre Kana-Biyik or Samuel Ekeme Ndiba.

Michel may again resort to using 42-year-old Roger Milla, the oldest player to take part in the World Cup finals, as a second-half substitute.

Russia will also be without a suspended defender, Sergei Gorlukovich, who was sent off against Sweden.

CAMEROON (probable): Nkono (Hospitalet); Tataw (Olympic Mvolye), Libih (Al Ohud), Kalla, Ekeme Ndiba (both Canon Yaounde), Agbo (Olympic Mvolye), Mfede (Canon Yaounde), M'Bouh (Al Nadi), Foe (Canon Yaounde), Embe (Belenenses), Omam-Biyik (Lens).

RUSSIA (probable): Kharin (Chelsea); Khlestov, Nikiforov, Onopko, (all Spartak Moscow), Galyamin, Kuznetsov (both Espanol), Popov (Racing Santander), Borodyuk (Freiburg), Mostovoi (Caen), Salenko (Valencia), Beschastnykh (Spartak Moscow).