[www.inewsguyana.com] – Oribe Peralta scored a second-half winner as Mexico overcome rainy conditions and a pair of controversial refereeing decisions to defeat Cameroon 1-0 in both teams FIFA world cup opener earlier at the Estadio das Dunas in Natal.
Peralta netted in the 61st minute, slotting in the rebound after Giovani Dos Santos saw his initial shot saved. It was Peralta’s first international goal since January, ending a scoreless run of four matches.
The victory and three points could prove immensely valuable for El Tri in the race to qualify from Group A, which also includes hosts Brazil and Croatia. The Brazilians are heavily favoured to win the group, especially after defeating Croatia 3-1 on Thursday in the tournament’s opening game.
Mexico now find themselves level on three points with Brazil, with the two teams set to face off Tuesday in Fortaleza. As ESPN FC’s Tom Marshall noted, Friday’s match held massive importance for El Tri. Meanwhile, B/R’s Ed Dove tweeted that Cameroon disappointed throughout.
Neither team scored in the first half, but whatever the opening 45 minutes lacked in goals, it more than made up for it with entertainment and controversy. Dos Santos had two goals ruled out for offside, with both decisions proving contentious.
The first came in the 11th minute as Dos Santos volleyed in from Hector Herrera’s cross following a bright opening by Mexico. Although replays suggested Dos Santos was onside, the goal was disallowed and the match remained scoreless.
Cameroon had a goal of their own ruled out in the 16th minute, but this time the decision was more clear-cut, with Samuel Eto’o in a clearly offside position. Eto’o came close again five minutes later, bouncing a first-time shot just wide following excellent work down the left by full-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
The next chance fell to Mexico in the 27th minute as Andres Guardado curled in a fine free kick toward the back post, where both Rafa Marquez and Hector Moreno were lurking. Moreno appeared to have the better chance to score, but Marquez could only glance his header wide of the post.
Two minutes later, Mexico and Dos Santos had a second goal ruled out in another tight decision. Dos Santos was the would-be scorer again, heading in from a corner before being flagged offside following a deflection off the head of a Cameroon defender.