Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cameroon decapitated by Croatia (0-4) in 2014 World Cup

The Indomitable Lions were slaughtered by Croatia by 4-0. Strong and fast off the starting blocks, Cameroon flattered to deceive, at least for a moment with forays on the right wing where Benjamin Moukandjo had a field day skinning his marker at will. Croatia put their bodies on the line in midfield and defence and began to take control of the game. Benoit Assou-Ekotto failed to prevent a cross being delivered from the right wing. The central defence messed up a clearance and Perisic fed Olic who was making a run on the blind side behind Mbia.

Cameroon ran like headless chickens, not knowing whether they were coming or going. Aboubakar was full of energy and tried to combine with Moukandjo on the right to run at the Croatian defence. The defending by the Africans became worse as Mandzukic rang rings with his menacing play.

The Indomitable Lions clawed their way into the match pressing Croatia, forcing the midfield errors, and bullying the Europeans in midfield. In that positive spell, Croatia picked a loose ball in a collision of Aboubakar and Moukandjo and counter-attacked. Barcelona’s Alex Song shoved Mandzukic with his arm and followed it with a hammering elbow. He was red-carded with six minutes of the first half to play.

There was extremely poor decision-making by Cameroon, bad choice of passing, wrong angles support and incorrect distances of support at the back. Charles Itandje, in goals for Cameroon, played a long ball to Perisic at the corner of the centre and touch lines. The Croatian set himself up with his first touch, got into the box with his second and scored with his third after a fine sprint.

Moukandjo fought a lone losing battle with his energetic runs and excellent technique of running with the ball and dribbling. Croatia were relentless with their bid to tear the Africans to pieces and achieved that with a lot of ease. They surprised themselves with a goal from a cheap corner. Mandzukic out jumped the entire defence to head down a powerful ball past Itandje. They could have buried a few more chances with some clinical finish as they ran rings around the bemused and dazzled Cameroon.

The Aboubakar-Moukandjo combination created few true chances, but Cameroon incredibly missed them. For each of the missed chances, Croatia scored an easy goal. The crushing score line was extended when Eduardo received a pass from the right wing after fine play, and his attempted curler was parried into the path of Mandzukic to tap in.

It became a stroll in the park, Croatia choosing when and how to enter into the box. They seemed to choose when Cameroon could enter their box too. With a clear sight on goal, Cameroon still missed the target in an embarrassing way. True circus, What a disgrace!!