Cameroon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
OLEG Salenko scored five times, a World Cup finals record, as Russia overwhelmed Cameroon to renew hopes of qualifying for the next round. For Cameroon it was a complete disaster. Apart from a few inspired moments in the first half, they were taken apart by a Russian team who confirmed that their technique and teamwork have so far been underrated.
There had been so much unrest in the Cameroon camp, hardly a day passing without reports of fresh squabbles over money, that it could not be imagined they had enough spirit left to make further progress in the competition.
They needed at least a victory to get into the third-place shake-up but although they chose an attacking team they were ripped apart in the first half by the Russians.
Apart from an inspired spell shortly after Russia took the lead in the 16th minute, they were in such disarray it would have been no surprise to see them concede even more goals than the three that went into their net before half time.
Cameroon's commitment to attack and their eagerness to keep four men forward meant that they were frequently outnumbered in midfield, allowing Russia to build a series of attacks.
Jacques Songo'o, the replacement for Joseph-Antoine Bell, who dropped himself from the team in an attempt to restore some order in the dressing-room, was soon in action, first diving at Karpin's feet and then touching away a low free- kick from Ilya Tsymbalar.
However, the Cameroon goalkeeper found himself without protection when a corner set up a chance that Salenko tucked away neatly.
Cameroon's response was to try some of the magic that has made them popular, and Omam-Biyick brought a great roar from the American audience when he completely bamboozled two Russians and then sent a deft chip against the top of the far post. Encouraged by this, Cameroon kept their effort going and Cherchesov, in the Russian goal, did well to save from Foe.
This was the sort of stuff that has come to be expected of Cameroon and Stephen Tataw made his contribution with some spectacular ball control that ought to have produced more.
In order to close space down in midfield, Cameroon began to push up, gambling against being caught. It did not work and the Cameroon defence just about fell apart.
They appealed in vain for offside when Igor Korneyev put Salenko through for a simple goal and when the same player was pulled down in the 45th minute it was a clear case of panic. Salenko took the penalty kick calmly.
The symbol of Cameroon's advances in Italy four years ago, the 43-year-old Roger Milla was brought on for the second half and immediately scored. For a while Cameroon suggested that they might get back into the game but another goal from Salenko finished them off. The Russian forward scored a fifth in the 74th minute and with Cameroon on the point of total collapse the Russian substitute Dimitri Radchenko added a sixth.
RUSSIA: (5-4-1) Cherchesov (Dynamo Dresden); Nikiforov, Ternavsky, Khlestov (Spartak Moscow), Tetradze (Dynamo Moscow), Onopko; Karpin (both Dynamo), Korneyev (Espanol), Tsymbalar, Ledyakhov (both Spartak Moscow); Salenko (Valencia). Substitutes: Radchenko (Racing Santander) for Korneyev, 65; Bestchatniykh (Spartak) for Ledyakhov, 78.
CAMEROON (4-2-4): Songo'o (Metz); Kalla (Canon Yaounde), Tataw (Olympic Mvolye), Agbo (Olympic Mvolye), N'Dip Akem (Olympic Mvolye), Libih (Al Ohud), Kana-Biyick (Le Havre), Omam-Biyick (Lens), Embe (Belenenses), Mfede (Canon), Foe (Canon). Substitutes: Milla (Tonnerre Yaounde) for Mfede, h/t; Tchami (Odense) for Embe, 48.
Referee: J Al-Sharif (Syria).
(Photograph omitted)Reuse content