Cameroon 1-2 Denmark

Posted: June 19, 2010 in World Cup
Tags: , ,

Things may get a little heavy next week as I have a couple of half-days booked to enjoy what should be some thrilling conclusions to the group stages, so no out-and-about today.

That and it was the missus’ birthday. Happy birthday.

So I watched this at home, but what a bloody good game it was. Football is so much better when the teams have defensive foibles, and Denmark spent much of the first half passing the ball to a Cameroon shirt inside their own box that it was somewhat surprising that they managed to go in level at break.

I really don’t want to keep mentioning in England in every post but I feel a little bit dirty that we might well still go through by virtue of a spazzy 1-0 win over a Slovenia side that we would have merrily brushed aside 2 months ago but now fear like a team made up solely of Peles and Maradonas, whereas a side so patently talented as Cameroon are now guaranteed to be gone. I read a lot of criticism of Greece and how their dour defensive football would be a poor spectacle in the last 16; well what the hell will Cameroon make of England if they should get through.

Both Denmark and ‘Roon are packed with pace and attacking intent – aided by the comedy defending. I really enjoyed this game because it was the first time I’d been able to properly watch both sides, as their opening games both took place during working hours so I’ve only really seen highlights. But by all accounts they were both a bit shit. Here though they looked really good, even if the finishing was awry.

Apart from Eto’o – who is quality, we all know that – Cameroon had several stand-out players. Achille Emana (every newspaper sub in the country must have been praying for a late equaliser from him) looked impressive, Jean Makoun I knew a bit about from Football Manager (he was the cornerstone of my dominant Aston Villa team in 2018/9) and he and Alex Song were strong in midfield.

Pierre Webo stood out for several reasons. One is that he has one of those names that instinctively sounds like a nickname, and thus making it look like the commentator is on great terms with him as a personal mate. It would be like England having a Jonesey up front, or a Stevo in defence. “Great header there by Stevo…” Whenever Peter/Clive (still dunno which) said “great play by Webo” you expected the guy to glance up to the commentary box and give the man with the mic a thumbs-up.

The second way he stood out was his fucking awful finishing. Seriously there was one point in the second half when he was in on goal and put his foot through the ball. This looked like a sensible option except for the fact that he put his foot so far through the ball that it temporarily occupied the same moment in space-time and the universe had a minor atomic meltdown and the resulting shockwave launched the Jubalani fifty metres straight up before the gravitational pull of Jupiter carried it over the line for a goal-kick.

Onto the Danes. Shit they look like a fun team to watch as well, even if you ignore the fact that all their fans are Vikings (/good-natured stereotype). Viking-chic is very 2010. Dennis Rommedahl – wasn’t he balls for Charlton? – looked awesome, speedy as a sprinter except, shock horror he can cross a ball and shoot and everything! He picked up the assist for the equaliser but really it was all down to an absolutely phenomenal pass by Simon Kjaer, a blond wraith of a centre-half who I understand is being “chased” by most of Europe’s major teams, however it is possible to chase a player. Kjaer may or may not have been the guy that fucked up for Eto’o’s opener, I wasn’t really paying attention there, so I’ll not sing his praises too highly, but if you haven’t seen the first Danish goal then look it up because this was one hell of a ball. The kind of pass Chris Morgan a player hits correctly maybe one out of 50. A centre-half anyway.

And then you had Nicklas Bendtner actually looking, y’know, quite good. He’d have done well to miss Rommedahl’s cross but his overall play was decent. Jesper Gronkjaer was also playing, he of early(pre?)-Abramovich Chelsea. He didn’t have such a good game but I’d completely forgotten his existence so it was a pleasant surprise to see him involved.

So farewell Cameroon. There will probably be at least 1 team worse than you in that last 16, at least on appearances as I generally believe that in football you get everything you deserve, and deserve everything you get.

Not looking great for Africa. RSA are already gone (well, as good as), Nigeria likewise, Algeria are pretty ass and it’d be a major surprise if they beat the USA to qualify, and Ivory Coast are probably 50/50 at best to pip Portugal to 2nd in their group. Oh yeah and Ghana fucked up their big chance to make the Germans sweat today. I haven’t seen anything of that game but from what I read the Aussies were down to 10 men for about an hour and still looked more likely to score. As a result if England should get through I have absolutely no idea who we’ll play.

Or indeed, who I’d want us to play.

Final word on England seeing as I’ve utterly failed to not mention them in this post. I really hope we get through against Slovenia. Not because I think we deserve to or because we’ll win the World Cup. It’s just that I want to see us fail against, no disrespect to Algeria or Slovenia, a top-20 team. I want to be shown up by someone like Mexico or Ghana or Serbia, just to show all the morons in this country that no, we’re not underperforming through a lack of spirit or passion, that yes, players like Gerrard and Lampard actually aren’t better than some of these players that actually play outside of the Premier League or Europe’s elite.

I’m not sure we’ll get the chance.

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