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World Cup - Brazil 2014

Wednesday, 18 June 2014,

Cameroon
0
-
Full Time
Live
-
4
Croatia
  • Kickoff: 23:00 BST
  • Stadium: Arena Amazonia
  • Referee: -
  • Stadium: Arena Amazonia
  • Attendance: -
  • 40' Alex Song
  • 11' Ivica Olic
  • 48' Ivan Perisic
  • 61' Mario Mandzukic
  • 73' Mario Mandzukic

Cameroon

Half time

Full time

Croatia

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Cameroon v Croatia: 50-50 Challenge

Our expert bloggers will give their thoughts ahead of each game, so as Cameroon take on Croatia in Group A, Salim Masoud Said (Cameroon) and Aleks Holiga (Croatia) are your guides.

What's at stake?

Salim Masoud Said: The loss in their opening game versus Mexico added with a loss in this match will equal Cameroon picking up the demoralising tag of being the first side to bow out of the tournament.

That's not the only tag they seek to sidestep -- only one win since the 1990 World Cup finals is a shocking record for a country that has, since the obscurity of 1990, had established players in some of Europe's top leagues at their disposal. A likely loss against Brazil means this match represents the last realistic opportunity for them to pick up points.

Aleks Holiga: Up until this year, Croatia have never played against a team from sub-Saharan Africa. Their first came in the run-up for the World Cup against Mali (2-1) -- that wasn't too demanding, but the Indomitable Lions should prove a stronger opposition for the Vatreni.

After a decent display in a controversial defeat to Brazil, Croatia are now very eager to bounce right back. Head coach Niko Kovac and his players seem to have cooled off from their fuming about the referee's mistakes in that match and should now be fully focused on Cameroon. They know how important it is: With a convincing win, they could gain an advantage over Mexico (provided, of course that Miguel Herrera's team lose to Brazil) and go into their final group game needing only a point to qualify for the knockout round.

X-factor

SS: Benjamin Moukandjo. Confronted with the novelty of a 3-5-2 system in the defeat to Mexico, Moukandjo transformed from a winger to a defensive wing-back as he constantly retreated to track the runs of Mexico wing-back Miguel Layun.

That was admirable for a player whose defensive contribution hasn't always been the best, but in the end, he became too occupied with the defensive side and failed to showcase his attacking game. He should be facing a more conventional system against Croatia and an unconvincing defender in Sime Vrsaljko. He will be hoping to showcase his crowd-warming flair that is a source of creativity for Cameroon.

AH: Mario Mandzukic is back into the team, having missed the World Cup opener because of a one-match suspension. His presence can do wonders for Croatia, even if he doesn't score himself. Mandzukic taunts the opposition defence with his constant movement, opening space for others. He's also a constant threat in the air, and his pressing on the ball proved decisive for Croatia on a number of previous occasions. His alternate, Nikica Jelavic, had a rather poor game against Brazil, and many fans were left wondering how it would have looked if "Mandzo" was there instead. Now it's time to show them.

Fear factor

SS: Ivan Rakitic. Cameroon will not only look at Ivan Rakitic and daydream about the possibilities if they themselves had a creative midfielder of such talent, but also with fear emitting from their eyes.

One of Europe's distinguished midfielders last season, a move to Barcelona has duly materialised this week for Rakitic. This game could be over by halftime if Cameroon afford him the same amount of space they did with Mexico's Giovani dos Santos, who breached the pocket of space between Cameroon's midfield and defence with alarming regularity.

AH: I can honestly say I don't see any name on Cameroon's team sheet that Croatia should be afraid of -- especially now that their star man Samuel Eto'o is reportedly out with an injury. Cameroon are an unpredictable side, but what they showed in the game against Mexico didn't amount to much. The local media are more worried about the climate conditions in Manaus, where the game is played: The heat and the humidity could hamper Croatia's energy and slow down the transition, so there are doubts whether the team can be at their best or not. If I had to pinpoint one Cameroon player as the potential danger, then it would be whoever replaces Eto'o up front. Vincent Aboubakar looks like a very promising striker.

Key battle

SS: Stephane Mbia vs. Ivan Rakitic. The duo were part of Sevilla's Europa League triumph, but they will face off in this match's midfield duel.

Croatia's creative, playmaking midfield nucleus of Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic and Rakitic should see them command possession and use the ball intelligently. But there were signs against Brazil that the trio did not enjoy the physicality of midfield battles, particularly Rakitic.

If Cameroon's midfielders have a strength, then it's their fearsome tacklers through the middle. Stephane Mbia is the most mobile player in the Cameroon's midfield three, and he will look to harass and retrieve the ball from the Croatia midfield, initiating counter-attacks and joining them.

AH: Ivan Rakitic will meet his Sevilla teammate Stephane Mbia on the pitch, but this time they'll be (perhaps direct) opponents in midfield. Mbia was probably the best Cameroon performer in that match against Mexico, and he certainly is a quality player. However, his role for the national team seems a bit more attacking than in Sevilla, while he really shouldn't be the kind of guy you rely on for creativity. As for Rakitic, he could well play in a more advanced midfield position this time and Mbia could be in charge of stopping him. The two players know each other well, and we're up for some fascinating duels.

Prediction

SS: Mario Mandzukic's return and a Croatian midfield bursting with playmakers will see them comfortably beat Cameroon. 3-0 win to the Croats.

AH: Croatia are a much better team, and they will also be really fired up after the Brazil defeat. The Vatreni should win this, say 2-0.

91'+2

End Regular Time

91'+1

Attempt missed. Dany Nounkeu (Cameroon) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Pierre Webó.

91'+1

Pierre Webó (Cameroon) Assists Shot at 92'

91'+1

Benoît Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon) Throw In at 92'

91'

Benoît Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon) Throw In at 91'

89'

Eduardo

89'

Attempt blocked. Pierre Webó (Cameroon) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

88'

Edgar Salli (Cameroon) Free Kick at 88'

87'

Foul by Darijo Srna (Croatia).

87'

Attempt saved. Ante Rebic (Croatia) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Mario Mandzukic with a headed pass.

87'

Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) Assists Shot at 87'

85'

Attempt missed. Benjamin Moukandjo (Cameroon) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Edgar Salli.

85'

Edgar Salli (Cameroon) Assists Shot at 85'

85'

Charles Itandje (Cameroon) Free Kick at 85'

84'

Foul by Mario Mandzukic (Croatia).

84'

Nicolas N'Koulou (Cameroon) Blocked Pass at 84'

82'

Attempt blocked. Darijo Srna (Croatia) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

82'

Joël Matip (Cameroon) Blocked Pass at 82'

82'

Charles Itandje (Cameroon) Free Kick at 82'

81'

Offside, Croatia. Mateo Kovacic tries a through ball, but Eduardo is caught offside.

79'

Darijo Srna (Croatia) Throw In at 79'

79'

Attempt missed. Stéphane Mbia (Cameroon) header from the right side of the six yard box misses to the left. Assisted by Edgar Salli with a cross following a corner.

79'

Edgar Salli (Cameroon) Assists Shot at 79'

79'

Corner, Cameroon. Conceded by Darijo Srna.

79'

Edgar Salli (Cameroon) Corner Kick at 79'

79'

Edgar Salli (Cameroon) Free Kick at 79'

78'

Substitution, Croatia. Ante Rebic replaces Ivan Perisic.

77'

Foul by Luka Modric (Croatia).

76'

Luka Modric (Croatia) Free Kick at 76'

76'

Luka Modric (Croatia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

76'

Attempt missed. Darijo Srna (Croatia) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ivan Perisic with a cross.

76'

Ivan Perisic (Croatia) Assists Shot at 76'

75'

Dany Nounkeu (Cameroon) Throw In at 75'

75'

Darijo Srna (Croatia) Throw In at 75'

75'

Substitution, Cameroon. Edgar Salli replaces Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

73'

0 - 4

Goal! Cameroon 0, Croatia 4. Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal.

73'

Attempt saved. Eduardo (Croatia) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Mateo Kovacic.

73'

Mateo Kovacic (Croatia) Assists Shot at 73'

73'

Darijo Srna (Croatia) Throw In at 73'

72'

Danijel Pranjic (Croatia) Throw In at 72'

72'

Substitution, Croatia. Mateo Kovacic replaces Sammir.

70'

Benoît Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon) Throw In at 70'

70'

Substitution, Cameroon. Pierre Webó replaces Vincent Aboubakar.

69'

Attempt missed. Stéphane Mbia (Cameroon) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Nicolas N'Koulou.

69'

Nicolas N'Koulou (Cameroon) Assists Shot at 69'

69'

Nicolas N'Koulou (Cameroon) Free Kick at 69'

69'

Substitution, Croatia. Eduardo replaces Ivica Olic.

68'

Stéphane Mbia (Cameroon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

67'

Attempt missed. Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

66'

Attempt blocked. Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

66'

Benoît Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon) Throw In at 66'

65'

Corner, Cameroon. Conceded by Dejan Lovren.

65'

Benjamin Moukandjo (Cameroon) Corner Kick at 65'

64'

Benoît Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon) Throw In at 64'

61'

0 - 3

Goal! Cameroon 0, Croatia 3. Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Danijel Pranjic with a cross following a corner.

61'

Danijel Pranjic (Croatia) Assists Shot at 61'

61'

Danijel Pranjic (Croatia) Corner Kick at 61'

60'

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Nicolas N'Koulou.

60'

Luka Modric (Croatia) Corner Kick at 60'

60'

Attempt blocked. Luka Modric (Croatia) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sammir.

60'

Sammir (Croatia) Assists Shot at 60'

60'

Ivan Perisic (Croatia) Throw In at 59'

59'

Attempt missed. Darijo Srna (Croatia) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

58'

Ivan Perisic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

57'

Benoît Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon) Throw In at 57'

56'

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Charles Itandje.

56'

Darijo Srna (Croatia) Corner Kick at 56'

56'

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

56'

Darijo Srna (Croatia) Corner Kick at 56'

55'

Darijo Srna (Croatia) Throw In at 55'

54'

Maxim Choupo-Moting (Cameroon) Blocked Pass at 54'

53'

Stéphane M'bia (Cameroon) Blocked Pass at 53'

53'

Stéphane M'bia (Cameroon) Free Kick at 53'

53'

Foul by Sammir (Croatia).

53'

Charles Itandje (Cameroon) Free Kick at 53'

52'

Offside, Croatia. Luka Modric tries a through ball, but Mario Mandzukic is caught offside.

52'

Attempt missed. Dany Nounkeu (Cameroon) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Benoit Assou-Ekotto with a cross.

52'

Benoît Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon) Assists Shot at 52'

51'

Darijo Srna (Croatia) Throw In at 51'

50'

Attempt missed. Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Sammir with a through ball.

50'

Sammir (Croatia) Assists Shot at 50'

50'

Ivica Olic (Croatia) Blocked Pass at 50'

50'

Benoît Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon) Throw In at 50'

50'

Benoît Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon) Free Kick at 50'

49'

Joel Matip (Cameroon) wins a free kick on the left wing.

49'

Benoît Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon) Throw In at 49'

48'

0 - 2

Goal! Cameroon 0, Croatia 2. Ivan Perisic (Croatia) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left to the centre of the goal.

47'

Attempt saved. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Cameroon) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Stéphane Mbia with a headed pass.

47'

Dany Nounkeu (Cameroon) Assists Shot at 47'

46'

Attempt missed. Sammir (Croatia) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Darijo Srna.

46'

Darijo Srna (Croatia) Assists Shot at 46'

46'

Darijo Srna (Croatia) Throw In at 46'

46'

Start 2nd Half

46'

Substitution, Cameroon. Dany Nounkeu replaces Aurélien Chedjou.

46'+1

First Half ends, Cameroon 0, Croatia 1.

46'

Attempt missed. Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Benjamin Moukandjo.

46'

Benjamin Moukandjo (Cameroon) Assists Shot at 46'

45'

Attempt missed. Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

45'

Attempt blocked. Eyong Enoh (Cameroon) right footed shot from long range on the left is blocked. Assisted by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

45'

Benoît Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon) Assists Shot at 45'

45'

Benoît Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon) Throw In at 45'

45'

Attempt blocked. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Cameroon) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Eyong Enoh.

45'

Eyong Enoh (Cameroon) Assists Shot at 44'

44'

Darijo Srna (Croatia) Throw In at 44'

44'

Darijo Srna (Croatia) Throw In at 44'

44'

Eyong Enoh (Cameroon) Blocked Pass at 44'

43'

Darijo Srna (Croatia) Throw In at 43'

42'

Danijel Pranjic (Croatia) Free Kick at 42'

40'

Alex Song

40'

Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

39'

Attempt saved. Sammir (Croatia) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ivica Olic.

39'

Ivica Olic (Croatia) Assists Shot at 39'

37'

Darijo Srna (Croatia) Throw In at 37'

36'

Attempt missed. Ivan Perisic (Croatia) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Ivan Rakitic with a cross following a corner.

36'

Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) Assists Shot at 36'

36'

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Charles Itandje.

36'

Ivica Olic (Croatia) Corner Kick at 36'

35'

Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) Throw In at 35'

35'

Alex Song (Cameroon) Throw In at 35'

33'

Stéphane M'bia (Cameroon) Throw In at 33'

33'

Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) Blocked Pass at 33'

33'

Danijel Pranjic (Croatia) Throw In at 33'

33'

Vedran Corluka (Croatia) Free Kick at 33'

32'

Ivan Perisic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

32'

Stéphane M'bia (Cameroon) Throw In at 32'

32'

Danijel Pranjic (Croatia) Blocked Pass at 32'

32'

Alex Song (Cameroon) Free Kick at 32'

32'

Foul by Sammir (Croatia).

32'

Stéphane M'bia (Cameroon) Free Kick at 32'

31'

Ivan Perisic (Croatia) wins a free kick on the right wing.

31'

Luka Modric (Croatia) Free Kick at 31'

29'

Foul by Eyong Enoh (Cameroon).

27'

Stéphane M'bia (Cameroon) Throw In at 27'

26'

Attempt missed. Ivica Olic (Croatia) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Dejan Lovren.

26'

Dejan Lovren (Croatia) Assists Shot at 26'

26'

Darijo Srna (Croatia) Throw In at 26'

25'

Eyong Enoh (Cameroon) Blocked Pass at 25'

25'

Vedran Corluka (Croatia) Free Kick at 25'

25'

Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

25'

Nicolas N'Koulou (Cameroon) Free Kick at 25'

24'

Offside, Croatia. Ivan Rakitic tries a through ball, but Danijel Pranjic is caught offside.

24'

Dejan Lovren (Croatia) Free Kick at 24'

24'

Sammir (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

24'

Stéphane M'bia (Cameroon) Throw In at 24'

23'

Corner, Cameroon. Conceded by Ivan Perisic.

23'

Stéphane M'bia (Cameroon) Throw In at 23'

21'

Attempt missed. Stéphane Mbia (Cameroon) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Alexandre Song.

21'

Alex Song (Cameroon) Assists Shot at 21'

21'

Stipe Pletikosa (Croatia) Free Kick at 21'

20'

Luka Modric (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

20'

Attempt blocked. Alexandre Song (Cameroon) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Joel Matip.

20'

Joël Matip (Cameroon) Assists Shot at 20'

19'

Alex Song (Cameroon) Blocked Pass at 19'

17'

Attempt saved. Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Luka Modric.

17'

Luka Modric (Croatia) Assists Shot at 17'

17'

Alex Song (Cameroon) Blocked Pass at 17'

17'

Danijel Pranjic (Croatia) Throw In at 17'

17'

Ivan Perisic (Croatia) Corner Kick at 17'

17'

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Eyong Enoh.

16'

Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) Assists Shot at 16'

16'

Attempt saved. Ivan Perisic (Croatia) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Mario Mandzukic.

16'

Darijo Srna (Croatia) Corner Kick at 16'

15'

Alex Song (Cameroon) Blocked Pass at 15'

15'

Darijo Srna (Croatia) Throw In at 15'

15'

Darijo Srna (Croatia) Throw In at 14'

14'

Attempt missed. Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Sammir.

14'

Sammir (Croatia) Assists Shot at 14'

13'

Darijo Srna (Croatia) Free Kick at 13'

13'

Ivan Perisic (Croatia) wins a free kick on the right wing.

13'

Danijel Pranjic (Croatia) Throw In at 13'

12'

Danijel Pranjic (Croatia) Throw In at 12'

11'

0 - 1

Goal! Cameroon 0, Croatia 1. Ivica Olic (Croatia) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ivan Perisic with a through ball.

11'

Ivan Perisic (Croatia) Assists Shot at 11'

11'

Danijel Pranjic (Croatia) Throw In at 11'

10'

Stéphane M'bia (Cameroon) Throw In at 10'

10'

Sammir (Croatia) Blocked Pass at 10'

9'

Stéphane M'bia (Cameroon) Throw In at 9'

7'

Danijel Pranjic (Croatia) Throw In at 7'

7'

Stéphane M'bia (Cameroon) Throw In at 7'

7'

Benoît Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon) Free Kick at 7'

6'

Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon) wins a free kick on the right wing.

5'

Danijel Pranjic (Croatia) Throw In at 5'

5'

Danijel Pranjic (Croatia) Throw In at 5'

4'

Stipe Pletikosa (Croatia) Free Kick at 4'

4'

Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

3'

Vedran Corluka (Croatia) Corner Kick at 3'

3'

Ivica Olic (Croatia) Blocked Pass at 3'

3'

Alex Song (Cameroon) Free Kick at 3'

2'

Foul by Danijel Pranjic (Croatia).

2'

Stéphane M'bia (Cameroon) Throw In at 2'

2'

Ivica Olic (Croatia) Blocked Pass at 2'

1'

Attempt missed. Benjamin Moukandjo (Cameroon) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Alexandre Song.

1'

Alex Song (Cameroon) Assists Shot at 1'

1'

Joël Matip (Cameroon) Blocked Pass at 1'

1'

First Half begins.

Show all commentary

Possession

42%
58%
  • Cameroon
  • Croatia

Shots

17
18

Shots on target

2
9

Fouls

11
9

Corners

4
7

Yellow Cards

0
1

Red Cards

1
0

Cameroon

Cameroon0 - 4Croatia
Mexico1 - 0Cameroon
Cameroon1 - 0Moldova
Germany2 - 2Cameroon
Cameroon1 - 2Paraguay
FYR Macedon.0 - 2Cameroon

Croatia

Cameroon0 - 4Croatia
Brazil3 - 1Croatia
Croatia1 - 0Australia
Croatia2 - 1Mali
Switzerland2 - 2Croatia
Croatia2 - 0Iceland

Head to Head

Cameroon0 - 4Croatia

Cameroon

  • 16Charles Itandje
  • 14Aurélien Chedjou
  • -> Dany Nounkeu
  • 2Benoît Assou-Ekotto
  • 17Stéphane M'bia
  • 3Nicolas N'Koulou
  • 8Benjamin Moukandjo
  • 13Maxim Choupo-Moting
  • -> Edgar Salli
  • 10Vincent Aboubakar
  • -> Pierre Webó
  • 18Eyong Enoh
  • 6Alex Song
  • 21Joël Matip
  • Subs
  • 9Samuel Eto'o
  • 19Fabrice Olinga
  • 12Henri Bedimo
  • 23Sammy N'Djock
  • 11Jean Makoun
  • 4Cedric Djeugoue
  • 7Landry N'Guemo
  • 22Allan Nyom
  • 1Loic Feudjou

Croatia

  • 1Stipe Pletikosa
  • 11Darijo Srna
  • 5Vedran Corluka
  • 6Dejan Lovren
  • 3Danijel Pranjic
  • 10Luka Modric
  • 19Sammir
  • -> Mateo Kovacic
  • 4Ivan Perisic
  • -> Ante Rebic
  • 18Ivica Olic
  • -> Eduardo
  • 7Ivan Rakitic
  • 17Mario Mandzukic
  • Subs
  • 21Domagoj Vida
  • 2Sime Vrsaljko
  • 12Oliver Zelenika
  • 13Gordon Schildenfeld
  • 8Ognjen Vukojevic
  • 23Danijel Subasic
  • 9Nikica Jelavic
  • 14Marcelo Brozovic
  • 15Milan Badelj

Croatia eliminate Cameroon

Croatia responded from their controversial World Cup opening loss to hosts Brazil with a 4-0 Group A defeat of 10-man Cameroon to keep their hopes of a place in the last 16 alive.

The returning Mario Mandzukic scored twice -- and late in the first half was struck by Cameroon midfielder Alex Song, who was sent off -- after earlier goals from Ivica Olic and Ivan Perisic.

Croatia believed they were the victims of an injustice when referee Yuichi Nishimura awarded hosts Brazil a controversial penalty in the tournament's opening game.

They swiftly put any lingering disappointment behind them in Manaus as Olic scored after 11 minutes against a Cameroon side previously beaten by Mexico and fighting to stay in the tournament.

The Indomitable Lions' task was soon tougher as Song was dismissed for lashing out at Mandzukic off the ball before the interval.

Having made the opener with a fine pass, Perisic scored a second three minutes into the second half after a fine solo run and Mandzukic headed in a third before tapping in a fourth to complete a comfortable win.

Croatia play Mexico on Monday, June 23, with a place in the knockout stages at stake, while Cameroon are out ahead of their clash with Brazil.

Their frustrations appeared to boil over when Benoit Assou Ekotto and Benjamin Moukandjo had a dispute on the field, with the full-back perhaps fortunate to avoid a sending off for an apparent headbutt on his team-mate.

Cameroon were without talisman Samuel Eto'o due to a knee injury, while Croatia had striker Mandzukic available again following his suspension for his dismissal in the play-off with Iceland last November.

Cameroon were soon behind when they failed to clear Darijo Srna's cross towards Mandzukic. Perisic had the composure to deliver a finely-weighted diagonal pass across the area for Olic to simply tap in.

Croatia took control of the contest and were given a numerical advantage when Song struck Mandzukic on the back as Croatia began an attack, with referee Pedro Proenca showing no hesitation in brandishing a red card.

Cameroon's woes deepened within three minutes of the restart as the impressive Perisic struck. Itandje's poor clearance found the Croatia midfielder, who surged down the left, outpacing the Cameroon defence, before executing a simple finish.

Mandzukic should have netted a third after being played in, but Nicolas Nkoulou applied enough pressure to put off the striker, who scooped his effort wide.

Half-time substitute Dany Nounkeu attempted a spectacular volley which flew well over as Cameroon tried to respond.

A Srna free-kick from the edge of the area went over before Danijel Pranjic's outswinging corner from the left was met by Mandzukic who was unchallenged as he headed the ball down and into the net.

Stephane Mbia shot narrowly over from long range before substitute Eduardo saw his shot saved weakly by goalkeeper Itandje. The ball was parried to Mandzukic who tapped in.

Moukandjo spurned the chance of a consolation with five minutes remaining, curling wide with the Croatia goal gaping.

Ivan Rakitic fluffed an opportunity for a fifth at the other end before Pierre Webo's header bounced up and clear off the bar following Assou Ekotto's cross.

Assou Ekotto and Moukandjo squabbled in the aftermath, with the former throwing his head towards his team-mate in the closing moments in an unsavoury conclusion to the contest.


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