MANAUS – Gp A: Cameroon 0, Croatia 4
—- Croatia bounced back impressively from their defeat by Brazil to defeat a Cameroon team who were a disgrace to themselves as well as to the African continent which they purported to represent.
Issa Hayatou, long-time and apparently immovable president of the African confederation, hails from one of the most powerful families in Cameroon and will come under scrutiny for action against both federation and individual players.
Apart from the critical reluctance of Samuel Eto’o to play after the first game, Cameroon had Alex Song sent off for childishly striking an elbow into the back of Croat striker Mario Mandzukic before QPR’s Benoit Assou-Ekotto head-butted team mate Benjamin Moukandjo just before the final whistle.
The incident was not, apparently, seen by Portuguese referee Pedro Proenca.
The African side conceded early on when Ivica Olic fired in, and were then a man down when Barcelona’s Song was sent off to complete a unique family doubly: uncle Rigobert Song is only of only two players ever to have been sent off twice in the World Cup (Zinedine Zidane is the other).
Ivan Perisic made it 2-0 when he ran from almost halfway to punish a poor clearance by goalkeeper Charles Itanje before Bayern Munich’s Mandzukic headed the third and tapped in a fourth after Eduardo’s shot was parried.