2014 FIFA World Cup
Teams: Cameroon V Croatia
Date: 18 June 2014
Venue: Arena Amazonia, Manaus
Croatia made sure that Cameroon are the first African side to be eliminated from this year’s World Cup after a 4-0 win at the Arena Amazonia, in Manaus.
After a bright start from both teams it took Croatia just 11 minutes to break the deadlock through Ivica Olic who poked home a Ivan Perisic ball at the back post, 1-0 to Croatia.
Croatia almost doubled their lead in the 16th minute as Perisic latched onto a loose ball in the box following a corner, but Itandje was off his line early to block the shot.
It took Cameroon 20 minutes to produce their first shot at goal but midfielder Mbia sliced his effort way wide of the target from outside the box.
Things went from bad to worse for the Africans as Alex Song was shown a straight red card for a silly off the ball incident on Mario Mandzukic to leave his side with an uphill battle to climb in the final 50 minutes of play.
Perisic then did make it 2-0 to the Croatians after latching onto a loose ball by Itandje before calmly slotting the ball past the Cameroon goalkeeper with just three minutes played in the second-half.
Mandzukic should have added to the score-sheet when he broke through the Indomitable Lions defence but the striker could only poke his effort wide of the target.
The Bayern Munich striker made up for that miss when he added a third for Croatia on the hour mark, rising highest in the box to head past the Cameroon goalkeeper.
Croatia were not done yet and Manzukic grabbed his second of the game as he tapped home from close range, after substitute Eduardo’s effort was parried in his path, 4-0 in Manaus.
The game ended on a bad note for the African team as team-mates Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Ben Moukandjo had an an incident on the field, with Assou-Ekotto appearing to headbutt his team-mate.
The result means Croatia will have it all to play for in their next Group A game against Mexico, while Cameroon’s final group game against hosts Brazil will be a last chance to salvage some pride.
Here's how they started:
Cameroon XI: Itandje, Assou-Ekotto, Nkoulou, Song, Moukandjo, Aboubakar, Choupo Moting, Chedjou, Mbia, Enoh and Matip
Croatia XI: Pletikosa, Pranjic, Perisic, Corluka, Lovren, Rakitic, Modric, Srna, Mandzukic, Olic and Sammir.