Injuries & Suspensions
-- Sin Bin
-- Leading Goalscorers
| Keen To Get On With It
Saturday June 1st, 2002
Ireland vs Cameroon
Niigata -- (1-1)
With all the media coverage of the Roy Keane
affair circulating around the world, it was time for Ireland to let their their football
do the talking.
Cameroon kicked-off the first World Cup finals
game in Japan and even though the game took a while to get into its stride the Irish fans
were clearly enjoying themselves; even breaking out into a chorus of "Are You
Watching Roy Keane?"
Cameroon showed they weren't in Group E to
make the numbers up and took the game to the Irish, hustling and pushing, switching flanks
and testing Shay Given with long shots.
As confidence grew in the Cameroon team Mboma,
with his back to the goal, flicked the ball into the area. Sadly it all happened too fast
for his teammates to read.
For the Irish, Mark Kinsella and Damien Duff
tried to get something going and might have succeeded, if Cameroon hadn't been so
organised and disciplined behind the ball.
Raymond Kalla kept close to Robbie Keane and
regularly prevented him from causing a problem in the area.
At the other end Shay Given had to keep a
sharp eye out for the approach work of Geremi and Samuel Eto'o.
-- GOAL -- 0-1
With all the pressure Cameroon were applying it wasn't surprising that one of their moves
succeeded. Geremi, on the right, passed forward to Eto'o -- who managed to get behind the
Irish defense then pull the ball back from the goal-line, for Patrick Mboma
to have a relatively easy tap in -- 39 mins.
Ian Harte couldn't do anything with his
corners although a free-kick, just before half-time, nearly went in off Rigobert Song.
Cameroon calmed themselves down by trying a
little possession football in their own half -- Italian style -- before returning to the
dressing room with a well-deserved lead.
Half-time: Ireland 0 --
Ireland started the second half looking for an
equaliser and soon found the lucky break they needed.
-- GOAL -- 1-1
A poor clearance allowed Matt Holland to bring Ireland level with a first
time strike, through the middle of the area -- 52 mins.
While the Irish fans increased the volume to
show appreciation at the score, Cameroon's heads didn't drop and Marc-Vivien Foe proved
again that the Africans were not to be underestimated.
Ten minutes after the equaliser it looked like
Ireland would take the lead in some bizarre goalmouth action. Robbie Keane was already
celebrating, or trying to claim a handball from Rigobert Song, but Boukar Alioum saved on
the line and the Japanese referee waved play on.
Just when it looked as though Ireland and
Cameroon were set for a stalemate, Robbie Keane struck the post, after good work from
Damien Duff, with 7 minutes left on the clock.
The Africans started to get frustrated but
managed to hold onto the draw, that they more than earned for their performance in the
Ireland 1 -- Cameroon 1
-- Add Your Comments
Player of the
Samuel Eto'o -- Always a threat to the Irish, it was his excellent trickery that led to
Mboma's first-half goal.
Jason McAteer (30 mins)
Ian Harte (50 mins)
Stephen Reid (82 mins)
Raymond Kalla (89 mins)
Rep. of Ireland:
1 Shay Given; 18 Gary Kelly, 14 Gary Breen, 5 Steve Staunton, 3 Ian Harte (21 Stephen Reid
-- 77 mins); 7 Jason McAteer (2 Steve Finnan -- 46 mins), 8 Matt Holland, 12 Mark
Kinsella, 11 Kevin Kilbane; 9 Damien Duff, 10 Robbie Keane.
1 Boukar Alioum, 2 Bill Tchato, 5 Raymond Kalla, 4 Rigobert Song; 8 Geremi, 12 Lauren, 17
Marc-Vivien Foe, 20 Salomon Olembe, 3 Pierre Wome; 9 Samuel Eto'o, 10 Patrick Mboma (18
Patrick Suffo -- 67mins).
Referee: Toru Kamikawa (Japan)
The last 16 continue on the road to
Yokohama, with four games in South Korea and
four games in Japan.