Togo VS Cameroon match Preview
The two teams expected to prop up Group A will do battle a day after the World Cup opener, with both teams keen to get all three points to give them a shot at qualifying for the second round. Both teams barely scraped into the World Cup, with Mexico extremely lucky to qualify for the playoffs after Panama dramatically surrendered their lead against the USA with one minute remaining while Cameroon only made it to the African playoffs after an administration error from Togo which saw them field an ineligible player in a match where they beat Cameroon.
Cameroon will come into this match hoping to exploit the spaces down the wings in the opposite half of the field, as Mexico coach Miguel Herrera prefers an attacking 5-3-2 formation. However, Cameroon do not have any standout wide players in their squad, and Samuel Eto’o's experience of playing out wide for Inter Milan will not be utilised due to him no longer having the searing pace that made him one of the deadliest marksmen in the world. Javier Hernandez has not scored in his last nine matches for Mexico and may be overlooked for the game, especially with the rock solid Nicolas N’Koulou marshalling the Cameroon backline. Mexico will be relying on the creativity of Giovani dos Santos and their energetic full-backs to unlock the Cameroonian defence while Cameroon coach, Volker Finke, must decide whether to insert the exciting Vincent Aboubakar into his starting 11. This will also most likely be the final World Cup for Rafael Marquez and Eto’o, with both players looking to sign off their World Cup careers on a high.
Mexico: Giovani dos Santos, Oribe Peralta
Cameroon: Samuel Eto’o, Nicolas N’Koulou
Match facts (from BBC Football)
- Suffered back-to-back 1-0 defeats, having previously been unbeaten in their first seven games under Miguel Herrera.
- Lost more games than any other team at a World Cup finals (24).
- Javier Hernandez has gone nine matches without scoring for Mexico, his longest spell at international level.
- Oribe Peralta has scored eight goals in his last six competitive appearances for Mexico.
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