By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Mexico beat Cameroon 1-0 this afternoon (June 13th) at the Arena das Dunas in Natal in Group A of the World Cup. The North Americans had two goals incorrectly ruled out before Peralta’s strike in the second half secured the points.
Giovanni dos Santos, of Spanish club Villarreal, had an excellent game as the Mexicans made an encouraging start to their World Cup campaign. They join Brazil on three points, but sit second on goal difference.
Incessant rain in Natal diminished the technical quality of the game,as the pitch in some areas looked waterlogged. Yet even so, Mexico were deserved winners as chants of “Olé!” rang around the stadium from their traveling supporters.
Cameroon’s most threatening player, Samuel Eto’o, was marked out of the game and had little impact. Veteran central defender Rafael Marquez used all his experience to keep his former teammate at Barcelona quiet.
On twelve minutes, dos Santos thought he had put Mexico ahead but the goal was erroneously chalked off for offside. Dos Santos would be denied by a rogue flag again after half an hour, after glancing home a corner.
Mexican passion threatened to boil over as several players confronted the linesman. Still Mexico controlled the first half for the most part and Peralta was unlucky not to send them in a goal up at the break.
He would remedy his earlier error just before the hour mark. Dos Santos, again influential in Mexico’s offense, saw his shot blocked by goalkeeper Itandje, only for Peralta to sweep home the rebound.
Cameroon threatened to level towards the end. Moukandjou failed to get on the end of an Eto’o cross, before Mexican stopper Ochoa saved a free header from the former.
Mexico held on in the continual downpour. They take on Brazil on Tuesday at the Estádio Castelão in Fortaleza.
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