Ivan Rakitic’s Croatia and Alex Song’s Cameroon battled it out this evening in Manaus to keep their respective World Cup hopes alive. It was the African team that were made to bow out as Croatia fired for four unanswered goals.
The Europeans got off to a flying start when Olic netted the opener just after the 10th minute of play. The Croatian forward got on the end of a pass from Perisic in the area and fired his team into the lead. Cameroon’s response wasn’t threatening Pletikosa’s goal and frustration was starting to grow. It came to a boiling point when Alex Song, in the dying minutes of the half, was ejected from the game on 40 minutes when the referee deemed he had assaulted Mandzukic. The teams went to the dressing room with 0-1 on the scoreboard.
It didn’t take the Europeans long to double their lead. Itandje, the Cameroonian keeper, errantly passed the ball to Perisic near the halfway line, the Croat rushed toward goal and beat to the keeper to make it 0-2 on 48 minutes. Mandzukic made it 0-3 when he headed in a corner just after the 60th minute. The Bayern Munich player completed the rout when he poached a goal 15 minutes from full time.
With this result Cameroon have been eliminated from the World Cup. Croatia will take on Brazil on Monday for a spot in the next round of the competition.