Fiji Time: 3:13 AM on Friday 4 September

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

PREVIEW: Do-or-die for Cameroon, Croatia

News.com.au
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Update: 7:55PM CAMEROON and Croatia are looking to keep their hopes of making the World Cup knock-out rounds alive when they clash tomorrow at 9.30am (Fiji Time) in Manaus.

Having both lost their opening match, a victory would be fundamental in staying alive in a tough Group A including hosts Brazil and Mexico.

But a win would also allow each side to forget off-field troubles that have threatened to disrupt their preparation.

In the case of the Africans it is the near certain absence of talismanic striker Samuel Eto'o due to a knee injury.

"I am hoping the gods grant me a miracle and that I am able to defend my dear, beautiful country," Eto'o told Cameroon Radio-Television (CRTV).

"If this is not the case, I will always play my role as captain and especially as the big brother to push my young teammates to victory."

Eto'o's knee problem stems from the end of his club season with Chelsea.

He says he hasn't been 100 percent for months and right from the start of the opening 1-0 loss to Mexico last Friday, he was in pain.

"During the first match of the World Cup against Mexico, I tried but after consulting the medical staff we realised that I needed a rest. Even in the ninth minute, I felt pain," said the 33-year-old.

Croatia's problems are somewhat different as they lick their wounds and try to digest the bitter pill of their 3-1 loss to Brazil last Thursday.

Two key incidents changed the game as Brazil were awarded a highly contentious penalty to go 2-1 ahead before the Europeans controversially had a goal disallowed that would have levelled the scores.

But worse was to follow at the weekend as players were upset by some overly revealing coverage of their Brazilian campaign.

A Croatian website published photos of naked players frolicking in a swimming pool at their team base in Praia do Forte.

Veteran striker Ivica Olic, 34, accused the country's media of sabotaging their preparations.

"You can write freely that it's really shameful!," slammed Olic in the Sportske Novosti daily.

"We came here to represent Croatia, give our best, we are preparing ourselves for a difficult match against Cameroon and then such things happen.

"Is it normal? Do people really need to watch us without our underpants, do our families have to blush? Did media representatives come here for football or something else."

Olic wasn't one of those exposed on the pictures - defenders Vedran Corluka and Dejan Lovren were wearing nothing but their birthday suits while playmaker Luka Modric had his trunks on in the photos.

The publication had caused outrage amongst the players who decided to boycott the media until Olic opted to speak to Sportske Novosti.

The photos, originally published online, were reprinted by many Monday newspapers and were especially well received by women on social networks.

But they haven't helped the mood of players who were already aggrieved by what their coach Nico Kovac described as the ridiculous penalty award in their opening match.

Kovac said the tournament would turn into a circus if referees continue to make such decisions.

So the referee will likely come under stern scrutiny, particularly since the gaffes have continued from the men in the middle.

Cameroon actually benefitted from two seemingly valid Mexico goals being chalked off for what appeared non-existant offsides.

Whatever the outcome, both sides will be hoping that headlines are made for the right reasons.








Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Westpac
Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.61830.5993
JPY 56.643953.6439
GBP 0.30420.2962
EUR 0.41510.4031
NZD 0.74000.7070
AUD 0.66500.6400
USD 0.46810.4511

from

$0.00

Exchange Rate updated on 3rd September 2015

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. $14b man
  2. Natuva: Military transition may take 5 years
  3. Fijian ex-pro wrestler on kill charge
  4. Schools break sex taboo
  5. PM: PIDF not a threat
  6. Let there be light
  7. School bus plan
  8. Plea for respect
  9. Ba to uphold law
  10. Leaders back idea

Top Stories this Week

  1. PM's warning Sunday (30 Aug)
  2. Leaders hit back at PM Monday (31 Aug)
  3. Draunidalo hits back Friday (28 Aug)
  4. Nadolo gets $2 for RWC Sunday (30 Aug)
  5. Fear of losing iTaukei language Monday (31 Aug)
  6. Nightclub employee charged with murder Tuesday (01 Sep)
  7. Sexual taboo Wednesday (02 Sep)
  8. 43 on radar Monday (31 Aug)
  9. A taxi for his 21st birthday Wednesday (02 Sep)
  10. Who dares wins Friday (28 Aug)