Danes send Cameroon packing
Cameroon became the first team to be knocked out of the World Cup after a 2-1 defeat to Denmark on Saturday, a result which also ensured Group E leaders Holland advance to the last 16.
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The defeat, their second in a row, completed a miserable
tournament for under-performing Cameroon, who lost to Japan in
their opening game.
Saturday's result leaves Japan, who earlier went down to a 1-0
defeat against the Netherlands, to take on Denmark in Rustenberg
next Thursday for the runners-up spot in the pool and a place in
the knockout round.
"We missed the required coolness in front of goal," said
Cameroon coach Paul Le Guen.
"We didn't finish very well, but I feel like we gave everything
we could tonight."
Denmark coach Morten Olsen suggested his team had been lucky to
escape with the win.
"We made far too many elementary mistakes and I can't allow that
from my players," he said.
"We must correct that. I wasn't happy but they fought
heroically. Some didn't play well but they fought."
man-of-the-match Daniel Agger was even more scathing.
"That was one of the worst performances we've had in a long
time," he added.
Cameroon scored first when Samuel Eto'o coolly shot into the
corner of the net after 10 minutes, but Arsenal's Nicklas Bendtner
struck back for the Danes, converting a cross in the 33rd minute.
Dennis Rommedahl gave Denmark the lead, curling a neat finish
around Cameroon 'keeper Hamidou Souleymanou on 61 minutes.
On seven minutes, Rommedahl had a great chance to open the
scoring as Christian Poulsen played him in behind the defence,
despite a hint of offside, but the Ajax star blazed his shot high
Three minutes later, though, Poulsen was at fault when he played
a blind pass that Pierre Webo intercepted before crossing for
Eto'o, restored to a central striking role, to blast home.
Former Chelsea winger Jesper Gronkjaer had two chances in quick
succession but his curler from distance was deflected behind and
then he fluffed a far-post header from the resulting corner.
Denmark were starting to exert control and Cameroon goalkeeper
Hamidou Souleymanou had to be alert to dash out and block at the
feet of Tomasson.
And they got the equaliser they deserved on 33 minutes as
Rommedahl got behind Benoit Assou-Ekotto to latch onto Daniel
Agger's long crossfield ball before crossing for Bendtner to slide
In a thrilling end to the half Alexandre Song made a goal-saving
block to deny Tomasson before Eto'o clattered the post and Achilles
Emana burst through only to chip into goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen's
Sorensen had to come to Denmark's rescue straight after the
restart when he tipped over a Stephane Mbia header.
On the hour mark Webo had a chance on the turn but his shot
bundled into Sorensen's arms.
Denmark then went straight up the other end and Rommedahl cut
inside substitute Jean II Makoun far too easily before curling a
left-footer beyond Souleymanou.
Makoun could have made amends but skied his shot from 12 yards
when teed up by Eto'o but Souleymanou then kept the Lions in the
game with a crucial point blank save from Tomasson.
Sorensen made a brilliant one-handed save to deny Emana an
equaliser, Vincent Aboubacar's goalbound shot deflected off
Poulsen's head and over and Mohamadou Idrissou's header just
cleared the crossbar in a frantic finale.
Cameroon: 16-Hamidou Souleymanou; 19-Stephane Mbia, 5-Sebastien Bassong, 3-Nicolas Nkoulou, 2-Benoit Assou-Ekotto; 8-Geremi, 18-Enoh Eyong, 6-Alexandre Song, 10-Achille Emana; 15-Achille Webo, 9-Samuel Eto'o.
Denmark: 1-Thomas Sorensen; 15-Simon Poulsen, 4-Daniel Agger, 3-Simon Kjaer, 6-Lars Jacobsen; 19-Dennis Rommedahl, 2-Christian Poulsen, 10-Martin Jorgensen, 8-Jesper Gronkjaer; 9-Jon Dahl Tomasson, 11-Nicklas Bendtner.
Referee: Jorge Larrionda (Uruguay)