For the first time in four matches, Mexico got a win in a World Cup match against an African nation by beating Cameroon 1-0. That scoreline is not representative of the flow of the match. The Mexicans were on the wrong end of a couple of questionable calls in the first half. Mexico deserved the three points and now have the upper hand on getting out of the group.
Coach Miguel Herrera said after the match that there was only one team on the field controlling the play, and that his team had scored two clear goals in the first half. They were both disallowed on offside calls. The first was simply a bad call and a late flag by the official. The second was off a corner that deflected off a Cameroon player. This should not have changed the call, and the positioning as the corner was hit is what should have dictated the call.
However, on a rain-drenched field, Mexico kept possession while Cameroon sat back and let El Tri charge at them. Oribe Peralta and Gio Dos Santos were showing why they were the upfront pairing for Mexico. Peralta was the player to benefit from a rebound that put Mexico out in front officially. They now sit at the top of Group A along with Brazil. Those teams will meet on Tuesday.
Mexico controlled almost 60 percent of the possession. They also attempted 200 more passes than Cameroon and completed them at a 81 percent rate. The Cameroonians had two real chances to score, with one coming on a scramble in the box from a corner. The other was a header that would become Guillermo Ochoa‘s only save of the match to keep the clean sheet.
Referee Wilmar Roldan did not want to give any cards out for most of the match. There were several tackles worthy of a yellow that were ignored, each team finished with just one yellow card apiece. The field was sloppy and so was the officiating, but Mexico continued to control the game and overcame the bad calls to take three points going into Tuesday’s pivotal matchup.