Rommedahl turns back clock to call time on Cameroon

Cameroon 1 Denmark 2

It was make or break, do or die, in Pretoria for two teams trying to avoid being the first to go out, and it was Denmark who lived to fight another day after an exhilarating 2-1 victory that also made Holland the first team to go through to the last 16.

Dennis Rommedahl, fast approaching his 32nd birthday, was pivotal in dragging the Danes back from behind to win, setting up Nicolas Bendtner to equalise Samuel Eto'o's 10th-minute opener and then putting away the winner himself.

He was delighted with a good job done. "It was a tough game right up to the last minute," he said. "We had a terrible start. But we created a lot of chances in the second half, when it became a more open game."

After Cameroon's opening 1-0 defeat by Japan and subsequent player discontent over team selection, coach Paul le Guen named Alexandre Song, Gérémi and Achille Emana in midfield and played Eto'o up the middle.

The changes took 10 minutes to have an impact when Denmark, who conceded a comedy own goal against Holland in their opening match, at least made Cameroon put the ball in the net themselves. A lazy clearance by Simon Kjaer gave Achille Webo the ball on the left and his cross was dispatched by the unchallenged Eto'o.

A perfect start, but the lead lasted only 23 minutes before Kjaer redeemed himself with a stunning 60-yard pass to release Rommedahl down the right. His perfect cross eluded the diving Hamidou Souleymanou to present Bendtner with a sliding tap-in.

Cue Cameroon's endearing Total Chaos – their answer to Total Football – which brought frantic action at both ends. One minute Song was hurling himself through defensive disarray to block Jon Dahl Tomasson's right-foot drive – Martin Jorgensen's follow-up went over – the next Eto'o was thumping a fierce shot against the post at the other end.

The half-timebreak had a calming effect and the second half started in a more measured style with Webo trying his luck before it was time for a reminder of Danish dynamite of old.

Rommedahl collected Bendtner's pass on the right, produced a burst of pace in turning back across Benoît Assou-Ekotto and curled a shot inside the far post to put the Danes ahead.

Now the game really opened up as Cameroon sought the goal they needed to stay in contention. Song and Tomasson exchanged shots before Souleymanou had to race out to deny Rommedahl and Thomas Sorensen was stretched to keep out a shot from Emana, denying Cameroon salvation.

Attendance: 38,704

Referee: Jorge Larrionda (Uruguay)

Man of the match: Rommedahl

Match rating: 7/10

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
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea