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Cameroon Ends Drought With 1-0 Win

June 07, 2002|Associated Press

SAITAMA, Japan — Cameroon scored its first victory in 12 years of World Cup play Thursday when it beat Saudi Arabia, 1-0, to keep alive its hopes of reaching the tournament's second round.

Samuel Eto'o drove home a low shot from inside the area in the 65th minute to lift the struggling African side to victory against a Saudi Arabia team that improved dramatically from an 8-0 loss to Germany in its opening match.

It marked the Indomitable Lions' first shutout in 12 World Cup matches.

"This was an important victory for us," Cameroon Coach Winfried Schaefer said. "It's our first victory since 1990, which is important for Cameroon's confidence and morale.

"I saw my team really working and they really believed the goal would come."

The result leaves Cameroon, which tied Ireland, 1-1, in its opener Saturday, in second place in Group E with four points, behind leader Germany on goal difference. Ireland has two points and Saudi Arabia none.

However, with two teams qualifying from each group and with Ireland strongly tipped to beat the Saudis in its last game, Cameroon may have to beat Germany on Tuesday in order to advance to the second round.

Cameroon, which reached the quarterfinals in 1990, has struggled since at the World Cup.

It failed to advance beyond the first round in 1994 and 1998.

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