The 2014 World Cup has been marred by controversy in the first few days, and again some shaky officiating took center stage when Mexico defeated Cameroon 1-0 in Friday’s action.
Oribe Peralta scored the match’s only goal, attacking a loose ball following a save by Cameroon goalie Charles Itandje and slamming the ball into the open net.
But the match could have been much more of a blowout in favor of Mexico, as referees waived off two goals by Giovani dos Santos on offsides calls that in retrospect were incorrect. Replays showed that dos Santos was behind the defender on the first goal and then judged offside on a corner though the ball actually hit the head of a Cameroon defender.
“We could have scored more, but unfortunately we’re not used to these conditions,” Mexico coach Miguel Herrera said. “Frankly, the refereeing took away two clear goals, but at the end of the day you’ve got to work for it, and we get to the next match with three points and very high spirits.”
Mexico showed resolve in the match, battling through the bad calls and keeping the pressure on the underdogs from Cameroon. Peralta said he and his teammates vowed to keep the pressure on.
“I want to score as many goals as possible,” Peralta said, “to take advantage of every opportunity that I get because I want to be a world champion again.”
Cameroon does not seem deflated by the loss, however.
“We have five days to recover,” Cameroon coach Volker Finke said. “We will analyse this together because the match against Croatia is very important if we want to stay alive.”
To advance in the 2014 World Cup, Cameroon will likely need a win over Croatia before another underdog matchup with Brazil.
With the win in the opening match of its 2014 World Cup run, Mexico has now tied Brazil atop the group with three points. Brazil opened action against Croatia on Thursday, winning 3-1 in another controversial match. There were several questionable calls benefiting Brazil.