Mexico gained a narrow 1-0 victory over Cameroon to give themselves a good chance of escaping Group A.
After having two goals questionable ruled out for offside, El Tri eventually broke the deadlock in the second half through Oribe Peralta, the veteran striker chosen to take Javier Hernandez’s place in the team.
The game started fairly evenly and Mexico were twice unlucky to see goals from Giovani Dos Santos ruled out as they searched for an opener.
Cameroon had chances themselves, too – with Samuel Eto’o striking the post after a fine run from Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
Peralta ought to have broken the deadlock early in the second half after being played in by Dos Santos, but his effort was well-saved by Itandje. Cameroon were flagging, however, and after Itandje made another fine save from Dos Santos minutes later, Peralta pounced on the rebound to put his side in the lead.
Cameroon reacted by switching to a 4-4-2 to try and reclaim something from the game, but the Mexico defence held firm in the time remaining.
12′ Dos Santos goal disallowed: Giovani Dos Santos turns home a cross from the right and should have Mexico ahead, but the linesman wrongly rules it out for offside.
22′ Cameroon go close: Samuel Eto’o strikes the post after fine work from Benoit Assou-Ekotto, before a goalmouth scramble ensues from a corner, but Mexico manage to survive.
29′ Dos Santos denied again:Dos Santos should have another goal, but again it’s disallowed. He was offside when the corner was flicked on to him, but it came from a Cameroon player, not a Mexico one.
47′ Peralta miss: Oribe Peralta should score as he goes one-on-one with Charles Itandje, but the keeper denied him at close range with a fine save.
61′ Peralta scores: Peralta makes up for his earlier miss by smashing home the rebound after another fine save from Itandje had denied Giovani Dos Santos.
88′ Ochoa save: Guillermo Ochoa makes a match-winning save to deny Maxim Choupo-Moting, holding onto the midfielder’s goalbound header.
Does FIFA need to be more selective of officials? Two games into the World Cup, and both have been blighted by poor refereeing. Fortunately, this time the side on the receiving end of the officials’ poor decisions got the win in the end, but there’ll be plenty of controversy ahead if the standard doesn’t improve very quickly.
Mexico’s 1-0 win over Cameroon was their first victory against an African team at a World Cup finals tournament.
Cameroon have only won one of their last 14 World Cup games (1-0 v Saudi Arabia in 2002), drawing four and losing nine.
Cameroon have lost their last five World Cup matches; the longest losing streak of any African nation at the tournament.
Oribe Peralta has scored nine goals in his last seven competitive appearances for Mexico.
Cameroon have conceded in 16 of their last 17 matches at the World Cup.
Each of Mexico’s last five goals at the World Cup have arrived after the hour mark.
Despite firing in four more shots than opponents Mexico (9), Cameroon failed to manage a shot on target until the 90th minute.
Francisco Javier Rodríguez attempted 74 passes for Mexico, 38 more than any Cameroon player.
Man of the Match
Giovani Dos Santos: As well as being his team’s main creator, the former Tottenham forward ought to have had two goals to his name today had both not been wrongfully disallowed. An excellent all-round performance, and perhaps Mexico won’t miss Carlos Vela too much if he can maintain this sort of form.
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