The pressure has lifted on Mexico after last nights result. Expected by many to be the second team to push through the groups, they managed to overcome the hosts in the 2012 Olympic final and will be out to upset the odds once again. They have however stuttered lately with two losses, against Bosnia and Portugal, during the build up to these finals. In fact, their whole qualifying campaign was much closer than it should have been. Mexico made hard work out of their groups and needed to overcome New Zealand in their play-off round. Probably the most worrying statistic is the fact that they have had three different managers in change since September 2013 – but seem to have settled on Miguel Herrera who took charge following his recent Mexican league title with Club America. Javier Hernandez of Manchester United might well be their most well-known superstar but goals from Oribe Peralta, who plays for Santos Laguna in his homeland, may boost their hopes significantly.
Cameroon haven’t faired much better; although a draw with Germany on 1st June will give them some hope. Largely expected to fall over at the first hurdle a team with Samuel Eto’o at the helm should never be counted out. The veteran Chelsea striker remains an iconic figure in world football and a threat at the very highest level, as his goals for the Blues this season demonstrate. Volker Finke’s side negotiated a tricky play-off round against Tunisia to get through to the finals; eventually sealing the tie with a comfortable 4-1 aggregate. There had been a few reports recently that suggested the team almost pulled out of the tournament completely, although Finke denies the rumours, due to a payment bonus dispute for their time at the tournament.
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