Oribe Peralta was the hero as Mexico edged Cameroon in a pulsating Group A game that somehow finished with only one goal. Three goals were ruled out in the first half before the 30-year-old striker slotted home a rebound in the 61st minute in Natal to send Mexico second in their FIFA World Cup™ pool, behind Brazil on goal difference.
Miguel Herrera’s men immediately took the game to their opponents, and only a series of sliding interceptions prevented the Mexicans going clean through on goal.
Giovanni dos Santos did ripple the net in the tenth minute, volleying home Hector Herrera’s right-wing cross, but the linesman’s flag maintained the deadlock. It was then Cameroon’s turn to have a goal ruled out for the same reason, with Eric Choupo Moting having strayed just past the last defender.
Cameroon had now found their rhythm, and after a purposeful, pacy burst down the left from Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Samuel Eto’o’s first-time shot crashed against the post and went wide.
Mexico had a great chance on 26 minutes. A free-kick completely exposed Cameroon and appeared set to give Hector Moreno a free header, just yards out. As the in-flight Espanyol defender readied himself to make contact, however, his leaping team-mate Rafael Marquez flicked the ball out for a goal-kick.
Minutes later, following a corner, Dos Santos fired home a loose ball, only to see it ruled out once again, meaning a pulsating first-half finished goalless… see more