Cameroon are left with nothing to play for after their second defeat, when they collapsed after Alex Song was sent off. The Barcelona midfielder yesterday apologised for the dismissal for elbowing Mario Mandzukic in the back, after which Croatia ran through Cameroon and beat them 4-0.
It was a thoughtless moment from Song coming when, even at 1-0 down, Cameroon did at least have a foothold in the game. “It was a stupid moment and I’m truly sorry,” Song said yesterday. “If I could do anything to take it back I would. Please forgive me.”
The defeat leaves Cameroon with no points from their first two games and no chance of progress to the last 16. They have one more match, against Brazil in Brasilia on Monday, knowing that the hosts will be desperate for the big win that will see them top the group.
Based on their performances in the first two games, Cameroon have little chance of spoiling the party, even against this calibre of Brazil team. In both matches, Cameroon have been poorly organised, with bodies in defence but not enough active defending, lacking control in midfield or incision up front.
Mexico should have beaten Cameroon by more than 1-0 in their first game in Natal, with Giovani dos Santos having two good goals disallowed before Oribe Peralta finally settled the tie.
Cameroon, despite the early goal scored by Ivica Olic, were solid in midfield, with Song, Joel Matip and Eyong Enoh restricting Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic as well as they could before Song’s dismissal. That, essentially, ended Cameroon’s World Cup as Ivan Perisic scored an excellent second before Mandzukic scored a third and fourth in the second half.