Both Cameroon and Australia lost their Confederations Cup openers. That left both in need of a win when they met on Thursday, but it was not to be, as Mark Milligan answered Andre Zambo Anguissa’s opener for a 1-1 draw.
What did we take away from the match?
Cameroon blew this game with bad finishing
Cameroon were the better team. There’s no doubt about that, as they ran past Australia with the ball, befuddled the Socceroos with smart runs off of it, and moved the ball with some tidy passing to keep the pressure on. Toss in a high press that turned Australia over repeatedly and the Indomitable Lions didn’t have any issues creating chances. Their problem was they missed so many of them. Vincent Aboubakar was especially wasteful.
Had Cameroon finished decently, they’d have scored at least three goals. Had they finished well, they have scored at least five goals. Instead, they drew.
Australia found success out wide
Australia couldn’t really pass through the middle and never really challenged the center of Cameroon’s defense with the ball on the ground, but they were able to generate some real chances out wide. They found space on the flanks, were able to get bodies out there and hit some pretty good crosses that led to a slew of near misses.
Now the crossing wasn’t pinpoint, and the runs from the forwards left a little to be desired, but if they were a little sharper they could have had three or four goals from the wings. There’s no doubt as to where their strengths are.
The defending was abysmal
Both teams had some horrific defending. Australia’s lone goal was a result of Ernest Mabouka getting caught behind the play and, to make matters worse, committing a stupid tackle. The referee (with the help of VAR) awarded a penalty and Cameroon lost two points because of it. The marking by both teams was bad throughout, too, and Cameroon’s goal was a result of that. Neither team will be impressed by their defenses.
A draw is bad for both teams
Both Cameroon and Australia lost their group stage openers, so they really needed three points from this one. If a team had won, they’d still need a result in the group stage finale, but it’d put them in a decent place to get through.
Now, both teams head into their final matches needing a win. They may also need to make up some goal difference and potentially get a favorable result in the other team’s match. Oh, and they’ll have to get those wins against Germany and Chile. Good luck with that.
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