Two late goals push Chile past Cameroon


Photo credit: FIFA

Johnny Herrera (23)

Mauricio Isla (4), Gary Medel (17), Gonzalo Jara (18), Jean Beasejour (15)

Marcelo Diaz (12)

Charles Aranguiz (20), Arturo Vidal (8)

Jose Fuenzalida (6), Eduardo Vargas (11), Edson Puch (22)

Benjamin Moukandjo (8), Vincent Aboubakar (10), Christian Bassogog (13)

Arnaud Djoum (17), Zambo Anguissa (3),  Sebastian Siani (15)

Collins Fai (19), Adolphe Teikeu (4), Michael Mgadeu Ngadjui (5), Ernest Mabouka (2)

Fabrice Ondoa (1)


Chile controlled possession early on, as Cameroon sat in and looked to hit on the counter attack. Several early Chilean chances were batted away by keeper Fabrice Ondoa, keeping his team at level terms. Vincent Aboubakar nearly took the lead from a well worked counter attack in the 10th minute, but was blocked by Johnny Herrera, in for the injured Claudio Bravo.

Cameroon had a goal disallowed in the 17th minute from a free kick situation. It was ruled that Arturo Vidal was pulled down by Vincent Aboubakar as the ball rippled the back of the net from a header by Michael Mgadeu Ngadjui.

Ondoa parried well again in the 25th minute, saving once again to keep his team level. Edson Puch let loose a knuckling shot from distance. Ondoa did well to read the trajectory and get behind the knuckling ball and push it away.

Chile continued to push in the 27th minute, breaking thought the Cameroonian defense, but failing to beat Ondoa. Eduardo Vargas received a pass in front of the center backs, and turned, slotting a pass for Jose Fuenzalida, who ran the channel and got in on goal. His touch was sloppy, and bounced off his shin, however it headed right into the far corner. Ondoa spang to the rescue to push out for a corner.

Cameroon had a golden chance off a Chilean error in the 35th minute, but Benjamin Moukandjo missed his shot form 18 yards out. Jose Fuenzalida was put under pressure facing his own net, and in a rushed effort, failed to make a back pass to Gary Medel, and Moukandjo picked up the loose ball. After a few step overs, Moukandjo cut in and shot, perhaps wasting a good 3v2 opportunity.

Chile’s best chance of the half came in the 39th minute when Eduardo Vargas skied a 1v1 chance against Ondoa. Arturo Vidal popped up between the lines, drawing two defenders in as he turned and played Vargas in on net. Vargas timed his run well, and flew into the area that was vacated when Vidal drew pressure. From 12 yards out Vargas had the simple job of finishing the job and instead put his shot 20 rows up.

Chile thought they opened the scoring through Eduardo Vargas, in a wonderfully worked play starting from Marcelo Diaz. He played the ball forward to Vidal, who found himself between the lines yet again. Vidal turned and played Vargas in on goal on the back shoulder of Adolphe Teikeu. Vargas slotted over Ondoa as the Chileans celebrated. The referee conferred with his video assistants, who ruled that Vargas was leaning offsides, the goal was called off, to the dismay of the Chileans, who thought the goal was fair. This is one of the first instances of a goal being called back because of the video assistant.

At the half the score was 0-0, with Chile registering 9 shots and 78% percent possesion, truly controlling the match. Cameroon had its own chances, however, threatening on several counter attack situations.

The second half started a bit more tame than the first, with both teams possessing the ball in the midfield and the defensive thirds.

Chile had perhaps its first chance in the second half in the 72nd minute from a corner kick. The ball flash in front of goal, and Mauricio Isla pounce on the ball. He was put off by Vargas attacking the ball in front of him, and perhaps didn’t expect the ball to reach him. His header glanced wide just feet from the goal.

Chile finally broke the deadlock in the 81st minute with a headed goal by Arturo Vidal. An initial cross attempt from Alexis Sanchez was cleared only as far as Marcelo Diaz. Diaz played Sanchez again wide with a perfectly placed pass to bypass two Cameroon defenders. Sanchez cut to his preferred right foot and curled a great cross to the back post where Vidal leapt over his defender to hammer his header home.

In a strange use of the video assistant, a goal was initially called offsides by the sideline assistant, but after conferring with the video assistant, the head referee counted the goal. Leonardo Valencia started the attack, sending Sanchez in on goal from his own half. Sanchez rounded the keeper, allowing two Cameroon defenders to get back to cover the net. Sanchez’s shot was blocked by George Mandjeck, and Eduardo Vargas pounced to put the loose ball away. The sideline ref called Vargas offsides, but after some time, the video assistants ruled that Vargas was not, in fact, behind the last two defenders when the shot was taken, and the goal stood.


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