Oribe Peralta scored in the 61st minute as Mexico defeated Cameroon 1-0 in their FIFA World Cup opener in Natal on Friday/. Catch all the highlights from their first Group A game here.
23:26 (IST): That's the final whistle and Mexico have beaten Cameroon 1-0 in their Group A opener in Natal. The Mexicans fought bad weather and some harsh calls, which denied Dos Santos a goal. However, Dos Santos created a beautiful ball for Peralta, who scored in the 61st minute as Mexico defeated an African side in the FIFA World Cup for the first time.
23:21 (IST): Some excitement towards the dying moments of the game as Moudandjo's cross from the side was well stopped by Mexican goalie Ochoa.
23:18 (IST): With three minutes to go, Benjamin Moudandjo was looking to draw level for Cameroon before Rodriguez' sensational effort helped Mexico retain their lead.
23:12 (IST): Javier Hernandez and Fabian came dangerously close to scoring the second goal for Mexico but their splendid effort was thwarted by the Cameroon defence.
23:08 (IST): Nounkeu has been playing a rough game and the referee has had enough of it. Gives the Cameroon player a midfield and a free kick to Mexico, who fail to convert the chance anyway.
23:05 (IST) With 16 minutes remaining in the game, Mexico have made a big decision. They have taken Peralta off and sent Javier Hernandez, who has been out of form for a while now. Can he deliver the killer punch yet and put the game beyond the Africans.
22:43 (IST): GOAL! Oribe Peralta scores for Mexico after taking opportunity of a great ball from Dos Santos. This was a superb piece of play and a goal from Mexico was always looking on the cards in the second half.
22:56 (IST): Mexican defender Hector Moreno indulges in a hard tackle and the referee quickly flashes him a yellow card. No complaints there
22:43 (IST): The second half has seen the two sides more proactive. Choupo-Moting is ever alert and he tried to penetrate the Mexican defence but was thwarted by some good work at the end. Still no goal in Natal.
22:39 (IST): Mexico were looking to come out all guns blazing after the first half and Dos Santos made a beautiful ball for Peralta, who failed to beat an alert Itanjde, the Cameron goalie. It's still 0-0.
22:37 (IST): Can Mexico make the first breakthrough as play resumes in the second half? They should be pepped up after two wrong off-side calls. Cameroon meanwhile have made a change as Nounkeu comes in for Djeugoue in the 46th minute.
22:21 (IST): After a rather drab and controversial first-half, it's Mexico 0 - Cameroon 0. Both teams have been very ordinary on the field and despite some good attempts at goal by the Mexicans, luck did not seem to be with them. Dos Santos would feel particularly hard done by after a tight off-side call denied Mexico a goal.
22:12 (IST): Very sharp rain lashes out at Natal and the commentators feel these are some of the worst conditions a FIFA WC match is being played under. The wet pitch is not making it any easier for the players.
22:00 (IST): Another goal disallowed for Mexico and it's Dos Santos again in the middle of the heat. He managed to deflect a corner kick into the Cameroon goal but he was off-sided. After the controversial penalty kick yesterday, this decision could be panned too.
21:54 (IST): Good comeback from Cameroon as they find a way to take ball back into the Mexican half. Eto'O had a good shot at the goal but the ball bounced off the goal-post. Mexico's vocal supporters would have had their hearts in their mouths.
21:47 (IST): This has been an exciting start to the match. After some sharp assault from the Mexicans, Maxim Choupo-Moting netted the ball but he too was off-sided. So in a sense, it's '1-1' after 17 minutes.
21:43 (IST) What a miss for Mexico! Santos nets the ball but an off-side has been called. It was a very tight one indeed but there's nothing they can do about it with the flag raised.
21:41 (IST): The Mexicans have picked up pace and Cameroon now need to brush up quickly. They have made a hash of their ball possession so far and the defence has been hard-pressed to stop Mexico's assault.
21:40 (IST): Oribe Peralta of Mexio almost had a free run towards the Cameroon goal before he was off-sided.
21:37 (IST): Six minutes into the game and the ball possession has been 50-50 so far. Expect Cameroon to give a tough fight to Mexico, who are determined to make the playoffs.
21:32 (IST): Mexico's Paul Aguilar could have been in a dangerous position to score but the Cameroon defence was alert to the task.
21:26 (IST): No surprises here. Mexico have left Javier Hernandez out of the starting line-up after some poor performances. Cameroon have included Samuel Eto'o in the starting XI.
21:10 (IST): After an eventful opening to the FIFA World Cup yesterday, it's time for the second game of the tournament as an unpredictable Mexico take on Cameroon. The Mexicans have not done well in the last few editions and it is their main aim to make it to the quarter finals this year. Can they make it count against Cameroon today?
Mercurial Mexico host a troubled Cameroon in the sides' FIFA World Cup Group A opener in Natal on Friday looking to take the first step towards an eventual first appearance in the quarter-finals in nearly 30 years.
Now coached by colourful Miguel Herrera, who missed out on playing for Mexico at USA '94 after being dropped for punching a photographer, Mexico have in recent editions failed to live up to expectations.
In the past five tournaments the Aztecs have failed to get to the 'fifth game' and make the quarter-finals they last reached as hosts in 1986 when they bowed out 4-1 on penalties to West Germany. Mexico, noted for their 5-3-2 formation which focuses heavily on the running of the wingbacks, will however look to capitalise on the internal strife that has simmered within the Cameroon camp.
Four years after becoming the first African side to leave the 2010 tournament, with zero points from three games, Volker Finke's squad recently threatened to refuse to board the plane to Brazil due to a row over bonuses. Like Mexico, Cameroon endured a tough qualifying campaign that again underlined the central African country's reputation for internal strife.
Much of that in recent years has revolved around superstar Samuel Eto'o, whom the Cameroon federation once issued with a lengthy ban. (Read more)
Javier Hernandez Form a Dilemma for Mexico
Mexico head to the World Cup and a glamor date with hosts Brazil fresh off two defeats, no goals and star striker Javier Hernandez out of the side and out of form.
But coach Miguel Herrera believes their quarter-final goal is a realistic one and they had the better of last Friday's friendly in the United States against Portugal, before conceding in injury time.
Portugal keeper Eduardo made several crucial saves -- he had an "amazing" game, said Herrera -- and "El Tri" should have been out of sight by the time Portugal defender Bruno Alves headed home.
"The team demonstrated they can do big things, but we need to capitalize on our attacks and we need to concentrate on our finishing," said Herrera, a popular figure with the Mexican press.
"We dominated and played very well." (Read more)
Cameroon Delay World Cup Flight in Bonus Wrangle
Cameroon's World Cup squad refused to board their plane for Brazil on Sunday amid a row over bonuses, football officials said.
After prolonged talks with the African country's government a deal was reached and the squad will finally head to the World Cup later Sunday, a Cameroon Football Federation official told AFP.
"The players should have left this (Sunday) morning but they didn't want to because there was a problem with bonuses," the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.