Africa’s five representatives at the Brazil World Cup are in danger of extinction following the knockout Wednesday night of Cameroun, who lost their second group game 4-0 to Croatia in tropical Manaus.
Cameroun, who played without their captain, Samuel Eto’o, because of a sustained knee injury, had earlier in their opening group match lost 1-0 to Mexico to trail without a point, making their last match against hosts Brazil in Brasilia next Monday a mere academic exercise.
The one-time lndomitable Lions, whose pre-World Cup preparations were rocked by player agitations over bonuses, didn’t look the powerful team of the past as they were easily torn apart by the Croats, thanks partly to the red-carding of defender Alexander Song.
Except Cote d’ lvoire, who won their opening match 2-1 against Japan, and to a lesser extent Nigeria, who scrambled a point in their barren draw with lran, the other two teams, namely Ghana and Algeria, have no points to show.
Ghana having lost 2-1 to the USA and Germany stalking them on Saturday in Fortaleza, will need nothing less than a win in this second match to salvage any hope of surviving the group stage.
Similarly, Algeria lost their opening match 2-1 to Belgium but stand the chance of revival on Sunday when they take on South Korea in Porto Alegre.
In all, the situation looks dire for the African teams and only a resurgence in the second matches can save their blushes.