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Mexico overcomes wrongly disallowed goals to defeat Cameroon



Two matches in and the World Cup referees are not off to a good start.

Two wrongly disallowed goals in the first half did not deter Mexico, which finally got one to stick in the second half, winning the match 1-0 over Cameroon thanks to Oribe Peralta’s followup shot in the 61st minute.

Mexico came out of the opening whistle with electricity, throwing a handful of crosses into the box in just the first 10 minutes. It seemed like they were anxious to prove that they belonged at the World Cup and it didn’t take them long to do so, or so they thought.

The Mexicans were denied a clear goal in the 11th minute when Hector Herrera played a pinpoint cross to forward Giovani Dos Santos, who was sandwiched between two Cameroon defenders. Dos Santos got free and put his foot to the ball to blast it into the net, but was called for offside. Replays would later show that the decision was wrong.

Mexico remained undeterred however and continued to look bright in the attack, seemingly spending all their time in Cameroon’s half of the field.

They would have another goal taken off the scoreboard in the 30th minute.

The ball was sent into the box off a corner kick and headed on by a Cameroon defender. It was Dos Santos again who reacted expertly and got a head to the deflected corner to put it into the back of the net. The assistant referee again raised his flag for offside, even though the unlucky Mexican forward did everything right.

Cameroon had its chances to capitalize on sub-par officiating but was unable to do so.

Assou-Ekotto nearly stole the lead in the 58th minute when his free kick was deflected by a Mexican defender. Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was completely caught out and could only watch as the shot barely went wide of the goal.

Earlier in the first half, Choupu-Moting’s header off a corner was blocked by a Mexican defender and there was a frantic scramble right in front of the goal, but Cameroon was unable to put a threatening shot on frame before Mexico cleared it.

Mexico finally got their long-deserved goal in the 61st minute.

It was a beautiful buildup from El Tri that led to the breakthrough. Dos Santos was again denied on his initial shot, but the save spilled to Peralta, who slipped his shot past a diving Itandje to give Mexico the 1-0 lead. The pro-Mexico crowd seemed to let out a collective sigh of relief as they erupted in cheers at the breakthrough.

Down a goal and running out of time, Cameroon didn’t throw many numbers forward and rarely looked threatening in the second half. Cameroon, however, got one last chance to the level the match in the 91st minute.

Midfielder Benjamin Moukandjo snapped a header back across the face of goal. Ochoa dove, snatched the ball out of the air and held on.

The officiating at the 2014 World Cup was already called into question in the opening match between Croatia and Brazil and this match won’t do anything the quiet rising tide of questions. It’s possible to blame the weather for the mistaken calls given that Mexico and Cameroon were playing in a torrential downpour, but the fact remains that two relatively straightforward goals were called offside in a World Cup match.

Despite the referees’ best efforts, Mexico got the full three points and the controversy will likely be dampened because of it.


  1. Mexico is perpetually in the group of easy.

    Cameroon should have used their speed and strength to easily blow by grandpa Marquez and the hobbled Moreno yet seemed disinterested in attacking. Cameroon is the worst of the African teams in the Wc and only made it on a technicality. Togo should be here

  2. How is there no mention of the rain. I was at the game and the deluge was amazing. Must’ve rained a good 10 inches during the match. Played a factor for sure, there was no heat issues but plenty of water issues. The field held up really well and drained very well but there were some slips and the rain came down so hard it must’ve gotten into the eyes of players at key times. What a game! Still no one in the stadium knew why both Mexico goals disallowed in the first half. Just like USA v Slovenia all over again but twice over.

    • thanks for commenting on the rain. I wonder if it also affected the ref and his ARs’ ability to see clearly as well

      have fun down there!

    • I’m glad to hear that the field drained well. I don’t know about Natal, but a lot of the cities along Brazil’s northeast coast are actually below sea level. It’s particularly bad in Recife, where when high tide and heavy rain coincide you will easily find three feet or more of water covering whole neighborhoods. I don’t think that the Arena Pernumbuco will be affected because it is further inland (where the elevation rises), but Estadio das Dunas in Natal is in the middle of the city.

  3. Cameroon looked awful which just made me more upset thwt Mexico got such a relatively easy draw as compared to the US. Thwt group will come down to Croatia v Mexico for 2nd place because I just don’t see Cameroon beating Croatia or Brazil and I think Mexico will get trounced by Brazil.

    • I don’t by the end of the game, Croatia was taking it to Brazil. Mexico can also play a high pressure game and I don’t think Brazil likes to play running teams

  4. Looks like we are the only team upholding the “African football is great” myth of the last twenty years recently. Let’s finally put a nail in that coffin.

  5. Game reduced to a walk by halftime. Validates the speculation before the WC began that countries like Mexico and Cameroon unused to the heat would struggle to keep up the pace.

      • you got a point KG eye,
        Remembering Olympic speed skaters.
        The big mistake was training at altitude then
        competing at sea level killed them,
        thicker air, more resistance etc.
        the unusual circumstance of the games in a warm climate
        not the usual mountain air of most winter games.

    • Now the speculation will turn to whether the atmosphere negatively affected the referees. Too much humidity affects their vision.

      If I were a referee, I’d insist on being in a similar climate to Rio and Natal for at least a month before taking part in the match. Especially if the matches are in Qatar, I’d have to be in Rio first for a while to get my head straight.

      • No I think yours would win for the dumbest post ever. Even after it was pointed out by the poster that it was sarcasm, it escapes you.

  6. The disallowed goals will be a big deal if moving out of the group comes down to goal difference. In theory they should be topping the group right now…

    • If it comes down to goal differential, Croatia has a valid complaint because their match could reasonably have been 2-2, or even 2-1 in Croatia’s favor (they had one disallowed, the PK was bogus, and finally and most debatable, the obvious midfield foul before Brazil’s last-minute goal was a bad noncall).

      Good thing we have laser detection on the goalposts, though.

  7. No suerte para Dos Santos. As much as I love to verbally abuse the Mexican national team in person, I feel bad for the guy here.

  8. Cameroon are pretty awful. 3 and out for sure. Brazil will pummel them, and so wil Croatia. It’s between Croatia and Mexico for 2nd, but we all knew that coming in.

    Cameroon definitely in the running alongside Algeria, Australia, Costa Rica, and Iran for the worst team of the tournament.

    At least justice was done today after some more brilliant refereeing.

    Japanese and Colombian officiating crews out!

  9. I did not understand Cameroon’s tactics in this game. They never committed numbers forward. It was always Eto’o by himself. In a group where there are three teams fighting for second, you would expect Cameroon to try to score, especially once they fell behind. They looked like a side that wants no part of the World Cup, which is a d@mn shame.

  10. not a great game from Cameroon whatsoever. they looked completely disinterested. the ref was obviously awful.

    just me who thought Rafa should have been called for a handball near the end? his hand was raised and stopped the shot inside the box. i agree it would have been lame to see Cameroon get a tie because of that, but a handball is a handball. maybe it was a make-up non-call?

    • I don’t think his hand was raised. it was at his side and he didn’t move it. I am very glad they didn’t call that. Enough of the referees deciding the game already.

      Those offside calls were horrible. I think that when inside the 6 yard box they should give the benefit of doubt to the offensive team especially on a corner kick and the “pass” is just a deflection.

      • i just rewatched it, his hand was not anywhere near his side. it was out and raised. dumb on his part but happy it wasn’t called.

        agree with your other points.

      • Ya, but it also looked like the shooter completely shanked it and the shot was going nowhere near the target. Would have been a shame if it was called, IMHO.

      • yeah, it didn’t look like it was on target. i agree it would have been a shame given the situation. i just saw it happened and thought handball but no one said anything anywhere. thought maybe i was seeing things!

      • dude, it hit him directly in the hand. i’m fine with the no penalty call, as i have repeated. i’m asking about the ball clearly nailing him in the hand as it is away from his side.

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