Tag: Cameroon

200%’s World Cup Magic, Part One: Argentina vs Cameroon – 1990

In the first of a new occasional series, Ed Carter looks fondly back at his first World Cup finals match. It was Friday 8th June 1990. I was ten years old and I’d never seen a World Cup Finals match before. I came to football relatively late, or at least it felt that way at the time. No-one in my family had any particular interest in the game or strong affliations to anyone in it. And beyond my mother’s understandable worship of The Championships, Wimbledon and inexplicable passion for ice dancing at the Winter Olympics, neither of my parents ever watched, talked or thought about any sport at all. My only knowledge of soccer came from watching my schoolmates playing it at breaktime in my peripheral vision. But it was about autumn 1988 and what happened is that I suspect my dad was going through one of his occasional crises of masculinity. These normally run along the lines of worrying that having no interest in or knowledge of the national game surely marks him down as a nancy boy amongst his peer group. So along with my little brother, a football-mad member of Dad’s church choir and his friend (a particularly foul-mouthed traffic warden), we decamped to the Goldstone Ground in Hove. What we saw created a lifelong interest in football in two of us. My dad remained unmoved,...

Read More

World Cup 2010: Cameroon 1-2 Netherlands

The entertainment and excitement is due to be elsewhere this evening. The Netherlands against Cameroon sounds, at a distance, as if it should be a match of colour and flair, but Cameroon are already out and the Netherlands are already through, and this year’s Netherlands team has been perfunctory rather than exciting so far. Bert Van Marwijk’s team is built to pick up results with the minimum of fuss, but it has seemed unlikely to set the world alight in the way that the Dutch team that reached two successive World Cup finals during the 1970s did. So far. To anyone watching from England, that a team should be criticised when it has two wins from two matches at the World Cup finals may seem extraordinary, but Van Marwijk’s side has been criticised for not playing with enough flair. This sort of criticism is the legacy of that great team. The Dutch press requires results and flair this summer, but can this team fulfil their demands? Cameroon, meanwhile, are on a rotten run of form. Picked by some as the strongest of the African qualifiers, they were hopelessly out of sorts against Japan in their opening match but could perhaps count themselves unlucky to lose to possibly the goal of the tournament so far from Denmark’s Dennis Rommedahl last Saturday evening – a match in which they took an...

Read More

World Cup 2010: Cameroon 1-2 Denmark

A match so good even Peter Drury couldn’t spoil it. “Two nations living just a little on their history,” he notes, as the teams come out. And, as an English football commentator, he should know. The unfashionable games are becoming the ones to watch, after Slovenia v America yesterday, and now this. Expect Slovakia v Paraguay to be a humdinger. This one quickly becomes a particularly “good watch,” the verb “to watch” turned into a noun  – as ITV blast from the past Ron Atkinson used to do (“that’s a good arrive by Robson” etc…). Cameroon appear to have undergone a radical shake-up, with centre-forwards playing at centre-forward and Alex Song and Geremi playing at all. “Eto’o will be happy to be playing alongside Webo,” says Drury, possibly introducing Eto’o to an entirely new emotion. Achille Webo does make Eto’o’s 11th minute opener, but only after the Danish back line faff around with the ball – the green shirts of Cameroon’s advancing forwards apparently some sort of camouflage. Eto’o has enough time and space to make his finish one for the cameras, if he wants to. He does. Daniel Agger is described as a “recognised centre-back,” which will have confused most watching Liverpudlians. But no-one will be as confused as Charlton fans watching the Dennis Rommedahl tribute act destroying Cameroon down their left flank. He sets up Nicklas Bendtner...

Read More

World Cup 2010: Japan 1-0 Cameroon

Sloppy, unprofessional, boring, unimaginative. And that was just Guy Mowbray and Mark Lawrenson in the BBC commentary box. Whilst not personally agreeing with the decision, I could see reasons for Guy Mowbray getting the Beeb’s number one commentary spot ahead of Jonathan Pearce. Pandering to Mark Lawrenson’s base instincts was not among those reasons. Admittedly, the first 37 minutes of Japan v. Cameroon was dreck in the extreme. But Lawrenson in particular seemed determined almost from the kick-off that this would be the case. After five minutes he estimated that Japan “have given the ball away about once-a-minute.” Which made them about as good as England. And England started well. And by the time Japan scored even Mowbray had got bored with the predictability of it all. “Japan’s goal was against the run of play,” Mowbray noted. “What run of play?” came the response. “I knew you were going to say that,” Mowbray added, echoing the thoughts of the nation – those that hadn’t already turned the sound down. The commentators had insurmountable problems recognising an offside flag, pondering aloud that they hadn’t seen a foul on the Cameroon keeper over a picture of the referee’s assistant, flag resolutely pointing high across the pitch. And, never one to miss a stereotype, Mowbray had Japan’s bespectacled, besuited manager, Takeshi Okada, quickly marked down in the “inscrutable” column, although he at...

Read More

World Cup Tales: Reflections Upon England In Italy, 1990

The concept of England having a high level of expectation at the time of a World Cup finals is a comparatively recent one. As recently as 1990, most adults could remember their two successive failures to qualify for the whole event and, once there, they only seldom lit the tournament up. In 1982, a good performance in the opening match against France was followed by an almost linear deterioration in performance, which ended in their elimination in the second group round after two goalless draws against West Germany and Spain. Much was made of the fact that they were eliminated, due to the peculiar tournament structure, unbeaten, but they only scored one goal in their final three matches. Four years later, Diego Maradona’s various antics overshadowed a slow start that saw them lose to Portugal and draw with Morocco before Gary Lineker’s goals breathed some life into them. Going into the 1990 World Cup finals, there was little for England supporters to be particularly optimistic about. Their performance at the 1988 European Championships had been abject and, while their final qualification group table for the trip to Italy looked comfortable, the four point gap between them in second place and Poland in third place was somewhat deceptive. A goalless draw in Chorzow against Poland had guaranteed their place, but defeat would likely have eliminated them. In addition to this, the...

Read More