Cameroon 0 Croatia 4: Cameroon arrived at the World Cup in embarrassment, and left it the same way

Alex Song sent off during disastrous performance against Croatia

Croatia used their righteous anger from the opening game the right way, Cameroon allowed all the emotion to get to them for perhaps the biggest implosion the World Cup has ever seen.

LIVE: Follow the latest news as England play Uruguay, plus Colombia v Ivory Coast and Japan v Greece

IIt’s certainly difficult to think of a worse campaign from an individual team, where so much went wrong both on and off the pitch.

The African side arrived in embarrassment and exited the tournament in the same way.  Consider the details, and not just from this dismal 4-0 defeat.

Disputes over payment and awful logistics - from poorly-timed flights and inadequate hotels - gave way to tactical disorganisation and so many players losing their cool. Alex Song was red-carded for a disgraceful physical attack on Mario Mandzukic, Benoit Assout-Ekotto head-butted teammate Benjamin Moukandjo. Afterwards, Samuel Eto’o had to physical restrain Assout-Ekotto.

The former Chelsea striker was hardly a paragon of virtue. Questions have been raised over Eto’o’s disinterest in team meetings and his relationship with the rest of the squad.

Cameroon simply fell apart. They join Spain and Australia on the way home.

Get Adobe Flash player

Croatia were a complete contrast. The used all the justifiable emotion from the unfortunate defeat to Brazil to rally, while Mandzukic made himself even more marketable.

The possible price Chelsea or Arsenal may have to pay for the forward just went up. He added a brace to initial goals by Ivica Olic and then Ivan Peric, turn an atrocious defeat for Cameroon into an utter humiliation.

It sets up an effective play-off for the final round of group games. While Brazil will surely now dismiss a chaotic Cameroon to secure top spot, Mexico and Croatia meet in Recife.

Mexico can go through with a draw, but the Balkan side must win. Momentum, however, seems with them.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project