Cameroon vs Australia – Wednesday 16:00BST/17:00 CEST – Krestovsky Stadium – Saint Petersburg, Russia.
This will be the first-ever matchup between Cameroon and Australia. The two countries started with defeats into this tournament. Cameroon were beaten 2-0 by Chile, and Australia lost 3-2 to world champions Germany.
But both countries can take a lot of pride in their matchday 1 performances. Cameroon held their own against Copa América winners Chile, who struggled to overcome the African Champions well-organised defence. In the end, it was a combination between Chile’s superstars Alexis Sánchez and Arturo Vidal that undid Cameroon’s defensive efforts.
What stood out most in Cameroon’s game was the fact that they were able to sit deep and absorb Chile’s pressure and then quickly go on the attack using their fast and athletic attacking players. Furthermore, goalkeeper Joseph Fabrice Ondoa was fantastic in instigating quick attacking moves. This ability should help against Australia, who showed against Germany that they struggle against quick attacking moves.
Australia in the meantime highlighted that they are more than capable of scoring goals themselves. Scoring twice against the world champion highlights that Australia are more than capable of scoring goals. But at the same time Germany never seemed to be truly threatened by the Socceroos. Die Mannschaft scored an early goal and then managed the game easily. After Australia equalised Germany quickly scored a second and then a third goal. It was only after the third goal that Germany briefly let Australia back into the game only to shut down the Socceroos completely after Australia’s second goal.
It will be interesting to see how Australia perform against an opponent like Cameroon, who will have to win this game badly to have a chance to advance. Playing in a game that might not feel like a friendly could therefore a difficult proposition for the Socceroos and Cameroon will, therefore, be the favourites to win this game on Thursday night.
Cameroon vs Australia – Players to look out for:
Tomas Rogic #23 – Australia
Playing against world champions Germany on matchday 1 Australia were the significant underdog. But thanks to Thomas Rogic the Socceroos can now look back with pride. The Celtic Glasgow striker equalised Germany’s early lead in the 41st minute and remained a constant danger against a Germany side that very much struggled to find defensive stability. Rogic managed seven goals in 22 games for Celtic in the Scottish Premiership last season. With Australia now in the international spotlight thanks to high-profile games against Germany as well as Chile Rogic can show that he can perform on an even bigger stage. A flexible attacking player Rogic can play both up front, but also as a trequartista behind the main target man.
Joseph Fabrice Ondoa #1 – Cameroon
It was not the best start for Cameroon against Chile. The African Champions handled themselves well in the match, and it took until the 81st minute until Chile’s Arturo Vidal was able to break the deadlock. One big reason for why Cameroon was able to hold out for such an extended period was goalkeeper Joseph Fabrice Ondoa. The Sevilla Atletico Club goalkeeper is still very much a project, but collecting valuable minutes at the Confederations Cup will help him to grow as a player. A very dynamic keeper Ondoa has catlike reflexes and is strong in patrolling his box and was, therefore, an easy pick to make our eight players to watch list. But what perhaps stands out the most is his ability to start Cameroon’s attacking plays. Schooled at Barcelona Ondoa is very much a sweeper-keeper and with Cameroon sitting deep for the most part on matchday 1 it was Ondoa’s ability to quickly start counterattacking plays that allowed Cameroon to remain a threat against Chile throughout the match.
Cameroon vs Australia – Match Stats
- Australia have now lost four FIFA Confederations Cup matches in a row.
- Australia failed to collect a point in their three group games on their last appearance at the tournament, at Germany 2005.
- The Socceroos are one defeat away from equalling Saudi Arabia’s five on the trot, but still some way behind New Zealand’s eight.
- Should they beat Cameroon, it will be their first win in the competition since overcoming Brazil in the match for third place in 2001.
- It is the first ever match between the two countries.
Prediction: Cameroon vs Australia 2-1
Cameroon vs Australia – Possible Lineups
Ondoa – Fai, Teikeu, Ngadeu-Ngadjui, Mabouka – Djoum, Zambo, Siani – Moukandjo, Aboubakar, Bassogog
Coach: Hugo Broos
Ryan – Wright, Sainsbury, Degenek – Behich, Milligan, Kruse, Leckie – Mooy, Rogic, Cahill
Coach: Ange Postecoglou
Manuel Veth is a freelance journalist and social media editor at Bundesliga.com. He is also a holder of a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.