World Cup

Croatia knock 10-man Cameroon out of World Cup:

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Cameroon's forward Pierre Webo (front) vies for the ball with

Cameroon's forward Pierre Webo (front) vies for the ball with Croatia's defender Dejan Lovren, during a Group A football match between Cameroon and Croatia in the Amazonia Arena in Manaus during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 18, 2014.  AFP PHOTO  



Posted  Thursday, June 19  2014 at  11:11

In Summary

But Cameroon were largely the architects of their own downfall after playing the last 50 minutes with 10 men after Alexandre Song's dismissal for a reckless punch to Mandzukic's back.

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MANAUS-Striker Mario Mandzukic scored two second-half goals as Croatia knocked 10-man Cameroon out of the World Cup with a 4-0 rout in Manaus on Wednesday.

Croatia bounced back from their opening defeat to hosts Brazil to keep alive their hopes of progressing from Group A with an emphatic display.

But Cameroon were largely the architects of their own downfall after playing the last 50 minutes with 10 men after Alexandre Song's dismissal for a reckless punch to Mandzukic's back.

The Indomitable Lions seemed anything but as they imploded with full-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto even trying to headbutt team-mate Benjamin Moukandjo in the dying moments following an argument.

"I apologise for the result, it really hurts," said Cameroon's German coach Volker Finke.

"We had no control on the game and I didn't like the behaviour of my team.

"We have to look forward, this team has players for the future."

Croatia, for their part, could have doubled their score but at least did what they needed to.

Veteran striker Ivica Olic gave them a 1-0 half-time lead before his Wolfsburg team-mate Ivan Perisic added a second ahead of Mandzukic's brace.

The result leaves Niko Kovac's Croatia third in the table, just one point behind joint leaders Brazil and Mexico. Cameroon are bottom with no points.

Croatia now face Mexico in Recife on Monday for a place in the last 16.

"We have to rest up well, the boys used up a lot of strength today," said Kovac.

"Then we'll go into what is effectively a final for us and will do everything we can to progress."

Cameroon were hamstrung before kick-off when captain Samuel Eto'o lost his battle to make the starting line-up having failed to recover from a knee injury.

Mandzukic returned for Croatia in style having missed their opening defeat to hosts Brazil through suspension, breathing life into their last 16 hopes.

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