2014 WORLD CUP SOCCER
Kickoff: Friday, 12:00 p.m. EDT
Estadio das Dunas – Natal, Brazil
Mexico +110, Cameroon +225, Tie +220
Over/Under: 2.5 Goals (Over +165, Under -208)
The 2014 World Cup continues on Friday afternoon when Mexico and Cameroon complete the opening round of Group A play.
After only just emerging from a shambolic Hexagonal qualifying campaign in which they won just 2-of-10 matches, this strife-torn Mexico outfit cannot be backed with any confidence to prosper in Brazil.
The Mexican Football Federation scrambled for the panic button during the Hex, releasing three different coaches from their duties between last September and October alone before placing 46-year-old Miguel Herrera in charge for the second chance play-off double header against New Zealand. Herrera's brave decision to ignore all non-Mexico-based players in favor of a roster comprised largely of his former Club America charges paid off with a 9-3 aggregate win over the All Whites. However, the coach has since abandoned that approach by recalling Manchester United's Javier Hernandez, scorer of five goals in his last 27 club appearances, and Giovani dos Santos of Spanish team Villarreal back into his striking ranks.
The return of seven European-based players risks creating factions within the camp, and a Cameroon side that won five and lost one of their eight qualifiers will know that only an opening-fixture win will do if they are to get past the group stage for the first time since 1990. The Indomitable Lions' 0-1 reverse against Japan in 2010 was the first time that they kicked off a World Cup campaign by losing in six participations. With striker Samuel Eto'o showing cracking late-season scoring form for Chelsea, a reprisal of the ridiculous 1-0 win over then-holders Argentina in 1990 could be on the cards for CAMEROON.