Cameroon beats Turkey 1-0

Cameroon score 1-0 victory over Turkey, securing the African champion a semifinal spot in the Confederations Cup.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
  • Total Shares


Geremi scored an injury-time penalty to give Cameroon a 1-0 victory over Turkey on Saturday, securing the African champion a semifinal spot in the Confederations Cup. Following a disputed foul on Joseph-Desire Job, Geremi took the penalty kick which saw the team through, the second successive upset for Cameroon, which beat Brazil in the opener. "I knew I had to get it in to get Cameroon through," Geremi said. "Yes, there was pressure, but you think about what you can win and not what you can lose in a situation like this." Cameroon had dominated the first half, but let Turkey take the initiative in the second, leading the pair to a stalemate until the decisive penalty. "It was obviously very hard match, a real battle," said Cameroon coach Winfried Schaefer. "My young team gave everything, at the end they were totally exhausted and drained." The victory riled the largely Turkish 43,743 crowd at the Stade de France and bottles of water and other projectiles were thrown onto the pitch in anger, while fights broke out in the stands. It also angered Turkey's coach Senol Gunes, who accused the referee of being biased. "I don't want to have to say this on FIFA's fair-play day but someone out there tried to stop us reaching the final," Gunes said angrily. "Everyone saw what happened, I don't need to explain." Gunes claimed Turkey had actually scored a goal earlier in the second half but referee Carlos Amarilla had let it go. The incident occurred then Cameroon goalkeeper Idriss Kameni came out too far for a ball that Tuncay Sanli quickly deflected to the open net. The ball appeared to go in but Lucien Mettomo flew into the goalmouth, clearing the ball in midair, seemingly just before it crossed the goalline. "It was a clear goal, the ball was over the line," Gunes fumed. "It clearly crossed the line and everyone saw that. "They [Cameroon players] kicked our players all the time, but the referee didn't see it. He used his judgment to favor the other team. We're not upset that we've lost because we played better than them. We were clearly the better team." With six points out of two games, Cameroon will play the United States in its final group game on Monday. Turkey, meanwhile, was left at three points from two game and will likely need to beat five-time world champion Brazil if it hopes to get through to Thursday's semifinal. Geremi had missed a number of scoring opportunities throughout the match. But when Servet Cetin fouled Job, grabbing him around the waist and pulling him down just inside the penalty box, the midfielder would not let this last-gasp opportunity go by. Geremi slotted the ball past the fingertips of the diving Rustu Recber, considered one of the best keepers in the world, into the bottom right hand corner for the victory. The African champions missed a number of opportunities early on. Samuel Eto'o, who scored a great goal in Cameroon 1-0 upset of Brazil on Thursday, sent a header wide despite the open net, wasting an easy chance. Rustu Recber had to make repeated saves as his defenders were lax, leaving gaping holes for the quick Cameroon forwards. Eto'o continued to make life difficult, switching from side to side and making the marking tough for Turkey. As tension mounted, tempers flared, and Yildiray Basturk and Song both got slapped with yellow cards after Cameroon's captain swung in with his elbows at Basturk, ending in a shouting match. In the second half the Turkish players began to claim more possession, and proved increasingly dangerous. They nearly scored on Tuncay's deflected shot but their hopes were dashed. Schaefer decided to pull out all the stops in hopes for a goal, replacing defender Bill Tchato for striker Valery Mezague, who was slapped with a yellow card just two minutes later for diving. "You should never change a winning team, that's why I had the same 11 that played so well against Brazil," Schaefer said. "But this means it's very hard for fitness levels." (AP)