U-20 World Cup: Cameroon Qualify For Second Round, Beat Uruguay 1-0

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With determination to make good impact in the FIFA U-World Cup in Colombia, Cameroon’s junior national team, coming from two previous bad results, beat Uruguay to qualify for the second round of the World Youth Championship, WYC.

The Cameroonians early today defeated Uruguay 1-0 to scale the hurdle of the first round of a difficult group where they were held to 1-1 draw by New Zealand in their first match and beaten 1-0 by Portugal in their second group game.

An animated crowd in Bogota, Colombia witnessed only one goal. It was scored by Emmanuel Mbongo. It moved Cameroon on to four points, sent them through as Group B runners-up behind Portugal, and booked a meeting with Mexico in the Round of 16.

It left Uruguay bottom of the pool and ended their participation at this FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Speaking after the tie, an elated Martin Ndtoungou, Cameroon coach said: “We had a great celebration because we were in a very tough and equal group. The boys gave all they had against Uruguay, and that was the key to the victory. The substitutions? They helped us a lot. I used more offensive players, who were better organised, and that helped us to win the game.

“I want to dedicate this victory to my players, they had a great game and made a huge effort to reach this stage of the tournament.”

 

It was however a sad experience for Juan Verzeri, Uruguay coach whose side were sent packing because of the loss.

He said: “This is a painful moment, and obviously, the atmosphere in the dressing room is really sad. We wanted to play all seven matches, and we couldn’t do it. There were a lot of expectations back home, due the results gotten by all the Uruguayan teams in the recent competitions, but sadly we have to say that we are eliminated.

“I think we lost the qualification in our previous game, not today. Today Cameroon deserved the victory, we have to admit that.”

Fifa.com reports that the game got off to a slow start, with the first shot, a wild mishit from Cameroon’s Idriss Nguessi, coming as late as the 23rd minutes. The Africans were soon ahead, though. Christ Mbondi did well down the left and crossed for Emmanuel Mbongo, whose left-foot finish from close range beat goalkeeper Salvador Ichazo.

The Uruguay No.1 almost cost his side a second goal on 35 minutes, failing to catch a cross, colliding with team-mate Leandro Cabrera and presenting Franck Ohandza with an opportunity.

However, the Cameroon No.9’s reaction shot went agonizingly wide by merely inches.

Uruguay twice came close to levelling just before half-time. First, Diego Polenta’s wickedly-deflected drive went narrowly wide, and then Diego Rodriguez’s shot was superbly saved by Jean Efala.

The Cameroon keeper had to be at his best to keep out a Polenta shot seven minutes after the restart, before Ichazo denied Mbondi’s effort.

Ohandza then had two chances to double the lead, but Ichazo saved both.

Uruguay attempted to push forward in the last ten minutes, but after a Cesar Teixeira half-volley went wide, they had nothing left.

Cameroon had defied the odds to keep their dream alive.

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