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

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions