Confederations Cup draw harmful for both Cameroon and Australia
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) – Cameroon and Australia drew 1-1 on Thursday in a physical game that left both teams facing early exits from the Confederations Cup.
The result extends a winless run at FIFA tournaments for two teams that each lost their opening game in Russia and all three matches at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Cameroon took the lead in first-half stoppage time when Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa deftly flicked the ball over advancing Australia goalkeeper Mat Ryan after running on to a lofted long pass.
The goal was loudly cheered by Russian fans who led chants of ''Cam-ay-roon'' in the second half, trying to help lift the African champion to victory.
Australia captain Mark Milligan leveled the score from the penalty spot in the 60th minute. The decision to penalize a trip on wing-back Alex Gersbach was confirmed by a video review shown on the stadium screens.
Cameroon forward Vincent Aboubakar spurned three clear chances in the second half as his team showed more verve and technical skill.
If it was no surprise that Cameroon led at halftime, with its 11th attempt, the source of the goal was.
Midfielder Zambo Anguissa ran deep into the Australia defense to collect a long ball that overshot center forward Vincent Aboubakar. The 21-year-old Zambo Anguissa showed awareness to lift the ball gently over goalkeeper Ryan.
Russian fans in a 35,021 crowd showed which side most were on by roaring for the Cameroon lead which rewarded a strong finish to a half that began slowly and got physical.
A series of Cameroon corners provoked grappling in the goalmouth, and when winger Christian Bassogog raced clear it took a wrestling challenge by Australia defender Milos Degenek to slow his progress.
Aboubakar missed clear shooting chances minutes either side of Australia earning a penalty when Cameroon defender Ernest Mabouka brought down the 20-year-old Gersbach.
Milligan's spot-kick needed to be good to beat Cameroon's highly rated goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa diving to his right.
Cameroon faces Germany in the final group game on Sunday, when Australia plays Chile.