2014 WORLD CUP SOCCER
Kickoff: Wednesday, 6:00 p.m. EDT
Arena Amazonia – Manaus, Brazil
Croatia -120, Cameroon +300, Tie +220
Over/Under: 2.5 Goals (Over -103, Under -117)
Two teams that are coming off losses in their opening Group A matches clash Wednesday evening when Cameroon takes on Croatia. This is a must-win game for both teams, as a loss will surely eliminate them from contention for a berth in the knockout phase of the tournament.
Cameroon hung in there for most of the game against a Mexico team that was superior to them, but despite the final score being close, they were outplayed for a majority of the contest.
Cameroon was tied with Mexico until the 61-minute mark when Oribe Peralta scored to give Mexico a 1-0 lead that would be the game’s final score. Mexico, however, had two goals that were disallowed due to offsides calls, and had possession for 58% of the game. Cameroon really struggled to get any sort of flow offensively. They had just four shots on goal and lacked toughness with just 12 tackles in the game. They will need to completely change their approach in order to come away with a victory against Croatia, who actually performed pretty well against Brazil.
Croatia lost a close game to Brazil by a final score of 3-1, but they were very competitive (42% possession), and the match could have gone either way had there not been a few questionable calls in Brazil’s favor.
Playing against Brazil in the opening game was a tough task for Croatia, and they really showed up and took it to the home team. Croatia scored on an own goal by Marcelo just 11 minutes in. Brazil, however, would end up winning the game 3-1 on two goals by Neymar and one by Oscar in extra time. A lot of the calls in the game, however, went against Croatia, who had 21 fouls compared to only five for the host nation. If they are able to show up and play the game they played versus Brazil against Cameroon, they should be in good shape heading into their third game.