While the Indomitable Lions were tamed by Switzerland on Thursday afternoon, their European counterparts suffered at the hands of pundits’ favourites Brazil; losing 2-0 to the Selecao despite keeping them at bay for an hour. Both now face an almost win-or-bust scenario in Al Wakrah.
Although they managed to hold higher-ranked opponents for the first half of their Group G opener, a 48th-minute goal from Yaounde-born Breel Embolo proved the difference in Cameroon’s defeat to Switzerland.
As a result, the West African nation are still seeking their first victory at the World Cup since 2002, when current Cameroonian Football Federation president Samuel Eto’o was the last player to net a winner for his country on the global stage.
After their first-day setback, they have also lost eight World Cup matches in a row, so will now be eager to avoid equalling Mexico’s unwanted record of nine in that regard.
Though the Indomitable Lions finished third at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, they have struggled for form ever since; winning just one of their last six outings – and that solitary success came against Burundi.
Rigobert Song’s side, who qualified for Qatar in dramatic style by pipping Algeria to the post, arrived in the Middle East as the fourth-lowest ranked team to feature at this year’s finals, so are realistic about their prospects.
Dreams of extending their adventure into the knockout stages remain alive, though, and the five-time African champions must at least avoid another loss on Monday. Such a result combined with a draw between Brazil and Switzerland would bring an early end to their campaign; leaving little to play in a final group game against the much-fancied Brazilians.