Cameroon 0-4 Croatia: Lions Fail to Roar, Suffer Another Early Exit

Ten-man Cameroon were knocked out of the World Cup early in the group stage after a 4-0 thrashing by Croatia on Wednesday.

Ivica Olic placed Croatia ahead on 11 minutes, before Alex Song conceded a needless red card, after punching Mario Mandzukic.

Ivan Perisic doubled Croatia’s lead in the 48th minute, when he punished goalkeeper Charles Itandje’s poor clearance.

Bayern Munich star Mandzukic, who was suspended for Croatia’s opening day loss to hosts Brazil, added a brace to complete the routing at the Arena Amazonia in Manaus.

The Europeans now need a win in their final Group A clash with Mexico to assure themselves of a second round berth.

Benjamin Moukandjo Tracks Croatia's Luka Modric for the Ball. Getty Image.
Benjamin Moukandjo Tracks Croatia’s Luka Modric for the Ball. Getty Image.

Without the injured Samuel Eto’O, the ‘Indomitable Lions’ lacked that attacking punch needed in a crucial cup game, and the sending off of Barcelona midfielder Song added more salt to their injury.

The ex-Gunners playmaker inexplicably lashed out at Mandzukic’s back in the 40th minute, as he tracked the Croatia striker, prompting referee Pedro Proenca to issue out his marching order.

With Cameroon already trailing by one goal, Perisic doubled Niko Kovak men’s lead with an excellent run and finish after Itanje found him with a poor kick.

Mandzukic then rose beyond Cameroon defenders to net a powerful header from a Danijel Pranjic corner.

He added his second of the night with an easy tap-in after the naive Itanje pushed substitute Eduardo’s tame shot into his path.

Pierre Webo’s overhead kick in the closing minutes of the game was brilliantly kept out by goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa- and that was the closest Cameroon got to a consolation goal.

The drama continued for Volker Finke’s men as full-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto headbutted team-mate Benjamin Moukandjo during an argument in stoppage time.

Cameroon, who has now failed to reach the last 16 in five successive attempts, will be up against hosts Brazil in their final group game of the tournament.