Mexico have beaten Cameroon 1-0 in Natal to ensure a perfect start to their World Cup campaign. The Mexicans won through a 61st minute goal to Oribe Peralta, after controlling possession and territory for most of the game. Mexico started very well, with fullbacks Miguel Layun and Paul Aguilar pressing the Indomitable Lions with some great runs down the wing. Mexico were able to find the net in the 11th through Giovani dos Santos, although the goal was disallowed due to offside. Cameroon began to get back into the game, having a goal of their own, to Samuel Eto’o, disallowed in much the same manner. Mexico continued to press with some excellent passing, with Rafael Marquez just missing a header. A few minutes later the offside rule was again brought into the spotlight, with Giovani being controversially denied again. Replays showed the Mexican was onside for the corner, but offside when the ball deflected off a defender and allowed him to head the ball in. The half finished without much more event, although the Mexicans were not particularly pleased with the offside calls.
Cameroon keeper Charles Itandje was called into action early in the second half, forced off his line to block the run of Peralta, who, along with Giovani, was proving a thorn in Cameroon’s side. Cameroon had a chance about ten minutes after, with Jose Juan Vazquez deflecting a Benoit Assou-Ekoto free kick just wide of the post. Two minutes later, however, the goal had been scored. Hector Herrera made a nice run and opened up Giovani, whose shot was blocked very well by Itandje. The rebound, however, fell straight to Peralta, catching Itandje in an impossible position and allowing Peralta to roll the ball into an open net. Cameroon tried to press, although Mexico continued pressing, with Javier Hernandez injecting energy into the game as a substitute. Inefficiency up front cost Cameroon, and Mexico were the ones creating chances, Dany Nounkeu needing to slide to get to a Hernandez cross before Marco Fabian. Cameroon had one final chance in the first minute of injury time, but Benjamin Moukandjo’s header was brilliantly stopped by a diving Guillermo Ochoa as Mexico claimed a solid win.
Natal – Arena Das Dunas
Mexico 1 (Peralta 61)
Referee: Wilmar Rondan (Col)
Mexico: Ochoa – Layun, Moreno, Marquez, Rodriguez, Aguilar, Vazquez, Guardado (Fabian 69), Peralta (Hernandez 73), Giovani, Herrera (Salcido 90+2).
Cameroon: Itandje – Assou-Ekoto, Chedjou, N’Koulou, Djeugoue (Nounkeu 46), Enoh, Song (Webo 79), M’Bia, Choupo-Moting, Eto’o, Moukandjo.