Featured Matches
Previous
Valencia
Malaga
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Augsburg
Borussia Dortmund
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Marseille
Nice
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sporting Kansas City
Houston Dynamo
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Getafe
Almeria
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Getafe
Almeria
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Valencia
Malaga
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Augsburg
Borussia Dortmund
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Marseille
Nice
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Perugia
Bologna
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Union Berlin
Nurnberg
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FSV Frankfurt
RB Leipzig
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
VfR Aalen
Kaiserslautern
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
AJ Auxerre
Valenciennes
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Ajaccio GFCO
Troyes
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Chateauroux
Orléans
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Le Havre AC
Créteil
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Nimes
Arles
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Niort
Clermont Foot
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sochaux
Dijon FCO
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Stade Laval
AC Ajaccio
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Go Ahead Eagles
Willem II Tilburg
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Achilles '29
Fortuna Sittard
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Den Bosch
Jong Ajax
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Helmond Sport
NEC Nijmegen
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Jong PSV
FC Eindhoven
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
RKC Waalwijk
Jong FC Twente
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
SC Stormvogels Telstar
Almere City
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sparta Rotterdam
FC Volendam
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
VVV Venlo
FC Emmen VV
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Academica de Coimbra
Vitoria Setubal
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Ural Sverdlovsk Oblast
Terek Grozny
0
0
LIVE 55'
Game Details
Balikesirspor
Akhisar Belediye
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Caykur Rizespor
Genclerbirligi
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
KAA Gent
KV Kortrijk
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Helsingborg
Halmstad
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Orebro SK
Brommapojkarna
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Athlone Town FC
Cork
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bray
UCD
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Derry City
St Patricks
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Dundalk
Bohemians
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Limerick FC
Drogheda Utd
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Shamrock
Sligo
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Glenavon
Ballymena
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Coleraine
Portadown
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sporting Kansas City
Houston Dynamo
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Queretaro
Monterrey
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Tijuana
U. de G.
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Aberystwyth
Bangor City
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Carmarthen
Port Talbot
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Newi Cefn Druids
Connah's Quay
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Airbus UK
Newtown
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
T.N.S.
Rhyl
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Independiente Rivadavia
Atlético Tucumán
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Unión de Santa Fe
Crucero del Norte
7:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Huracán
Patronato
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Instituto de Córdoba
Ferro Carril Oeste
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Temperley
Sp. Belgrano
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy
San Martín de San Juan
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlante
At. San Luis
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Coras Tepic
Lobos BUAP
1:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Joinville
Oeste
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sampaio Correa-MA
América Mineiro
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Santa Cruz FC
Goianiense
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Arica
Palestino
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
12 de Octubre
Nacional
Postp
Game Details
Bidvest Wits
Moroka Swallows
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Chippa United
Ajax Cape Town
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Next
Jun 14, 2014

Cameroon doomed by failure to react

ESPN's Taylor Twellman and Ruud van Nistelrooy talk Mexico's performance against Cameroon.

It wasn't that Volker Finke failed to react properly; it's that he didn't react at all.

The Indomitable Lions were second-best from the first minute to the last in their 1-0 defeat to Mexico, playing the incoherent, abjectly dull brand of football they have become notorious and castigated for. Had it not been for some erroneous officiating, with two Mexico goals wrongly disallowed for offside, El Tri could have raced into a two-goal or three-goal lead by halftime.

MexicoMexico
CameroonCameroon
1
0
ESPN2, ESPN3 FT
Match 2
Game Details

Finke had promised a lineup that was similar to the one he employed in the warm-up friendly against Germany. When the announcement came, there were only two changes from that game, with Benoit Assou-Ekotto preferred over Henri Bedimo and Aurelien Chedjou over Joel Matip.

Both of those changes caused some contestation. The raiding Bedimo has had a productive season with Olympique Lyonnais at club level, amassing 10 assists from left-back. In a Cameroon team that struggles to fashion chances, he seemed the better option than Assou-Ekotto in terms of form and sheer mathematics.

Chedjou, meanwhile, offers the aerial prowess in the Cameroon defence, but he had partaken in just one of Cameroon's four pre-World Cup friendlies. That solitary appearance came in last week's 1-0 win over Moldova. In a desperate, last-ditch bid to prove his fitness, he played the full 90 minutes, but he had looked far from convincing on the few occasions he was tested during the game. Certainly, he hadn't done enough to regain his position from Joel Matip, who has exuded ease at centre-back in recent weeks.

There had also been expectation that Allan Nyom would start at right-back. But it was Cedric Djeugoue, the only domestic-based outfield player in the squad, who was favoured ahead of him. Unsurprisingly, he looked horrendously out of his depth and was spared further humiliation at halftime when he was hauled off for Dany Nounkeu.

Beset by lack of guile and creativity behind Samuel Eto'o, the consensus was that Cameroon's best chance of winning the game was to sit back and initiate attacks from deep, utilising the pace of wingers Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Benjamin Moukandjo.

Posed with Mexico's 3-5-2 formation, Cameroon struggled in dealing with the uniqueness of the system. The wingers, given the nauseating dilemma of having to balance tracking back and also doing some attacking themselves, became pre-occupied by the sojourns of wing-backs Paul Aguilar and Miguel Layun into their own territory. In doing so, they essentially become wing-backs themselves.

Samuel Eto'o was far too isolated to be truly effective against Mexico.

There is nothing wrong with playing risk-averse football as a means to an end, of course -- if you're an underdog and seeking to make a World Cup run, defensive solidity is the most important criteria. And if Cameroon have a strength, then it's undoubtedly the names in their defence.

But failure to find a balance in defending, especially down the wings, left Eto'o incredibly isolated and routinely absorbed by the Mexican back three. Any opportunity to counter, unhelped by Cameroon lacking a figure to link the midfield and attack, was negated by a Mexico side quick to get back and form their defensive structure.

When Mexico did go a goal just past the hour, Finke's biggest fault, for such an experienced coach, was his failure to react when a drastic change in approach was needed. Choupo-Moting and Moukandjo continued to track the Mexico wing-backs; Giovani Dos Santos continued to find space behind an increasingly leg-weary midfield. With 10 minutes to go, Alex Song was withdrawn for Pierre Webo and the formation was changed to a 4-4-2, but it was too little too late.

The Cameroon fans had expected to see more fight from a side that had hotly-contested their bonuses last week -- to the extent that they came into the World Cup as Africa's highest-paid side. Fight they could have, but they were comprehensively out-thought on the day.

They will now require something bordering a miracle to complete their mission of reaching the second round.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.