2014 World Cup: Croatia Showed True Colors In Victory vs. Cameroon
Croatia welcomed Mario Mandzukic back to the starting Xi with open arms as he netted twice in Croatia‘s 4-0 victory over Cameroon in World Cup Group B action. Ivica Olic and Ivan Perisic scored the other two goals. The red card handed to Alex Song for punching Mandzukic in the first half made matters worse for the African nation that simply had no consistent magic.
The absence of Samuel Eto’o hurt his nation as they formed a 4-3-3 against Croatia’s smart 4-2-3-1, which practically made their night too easy on the counter and even building going forward. The team relied heavily on the midfielders to pick up the ball near the final third and attempt to dribble past several opponents before finding a teammate. credit needs to be given to Croatia who simply waited to steal possession and push forward. This was never going to work as they needed to show more patience on the ball and make runs to help one another.
There was no discipline shown by Cameroonians who were truly let down by their effort against a team that also needed the points desperately. Now, they will be going home early while the Croatians have a chance at advancing if they defeat Mexico in their final group game.
Modric and Raktic were both fantastic even though they played in defensive midfield, their passing, decent defending and magnificent runs up the field truly opened things up offensively for their teammates. Rakitic could have even scored at the end but he missed one of the easier chances. Regardless, if these two can work this well together to get others involved, they can go far into the tournament if they do advance.
Cameroon tried to attack in their first two games, but the opposing defenses were too well-organized to allow weak goals. Now, they have one more match against the hosts, Brazil, in a game where they will want to go out with a bang, but that one will be their most difficult match.