WORLD CUP – Group A: Peralta strike sees Mexico edge Cameroon

Mexico have kicked off their 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign with a narrow 1-0 victory over Cameroon.

Mexico have kicked off their 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign with a narrow 1-0 victory over Cameroon.

On a rainy afternoon in Natal, Miguel Herrera’s El Tri managed to get the job done courtesy of Oribe Peralta’s 61st minute strike to join hosts Brazil on three points at the top of Group A.

The only goal of the high-tempo contest came just after the hour-mark when Peralta raced onto a loose ball to slot home after Charles Itandje had done well to keep out Giovani Dos Santos’ initial effort.

Earlier, Dos Santos was desperately unlucky not to have his side two goals ahead by half-time but the match officials made some monumental blunders when judging the Villarreal attacker offside on both occasions.

Dos Santos beautifully volleyed home Hector Herrera’s cross in the 11th minute and headed home a corner later in the half but both goals were inexplicably ruled out.

Cameroon had first half chances of their own through Samuel Eto’o, who had a goal rightly disallowed for offside in the 16th minute, before hitting the upright when getting a left-footed effort from Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s cross slightly wide of the scoring mark.

Late in the first half, Mexico were close to opening the scoring but Peralta’s close range header went wide, only to see the linesman with his flag aloft again.

Three minutes into the second half, Itandje came up with a great one-on-one save to deny Peralta before Assou-Ekotto’s 58th-minute free-kick from range took a wicked deflection off the Mexico wall and had Guillermo Ochoa wrong-footed but the ball fizzed wide of the mark.

Cameroon had a great late chance to grab a share of the points, but Ochoa produced a match-winning save when keeping out Benjami Moukandjo’s header right on the goal-line.

Mexico substitute Javier Hernandez could have wrapped it up in injury time but was unable to hit the target when by himself in the area, however, it did not affect the result as El Tri recorded a deserved three points thanks to a solitary goal from a player who was absent from the national team for six years and has now scored 12 goals in 14 internationals since August 2013.

Mexico next meet Brazil on June 17 while Cameroon will take on Croatia, who lost 3-1 last night, on June 18.

2014 FIFA World Cup – Group A

Mexico: 1 (Oribe Peralta 61’)
Cameroon: 0

Arena das Dunas, Natal -

Yellow cards: MEX - Hector Moreno 57’
CMR - Dany Nounkeu 77’

 
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