Portugal recovered from an embarrassing 0-0 draw with Cape Verde in Covilha eight days ago to restore some pride with a 3-1 win at the same venue over fellow World Cup contenders Cameroon, whose own preparations for the finals are not going according to plan.
The match came alive in the 32nd minute when FC Porto’s Raul Meireles broke the deadlock. His goal was quickly followed by the dismissal of Cameroon’s star player Samuel Eto’o, who had only just returned to the side following his Champions League win with Internazionale. He picked up two yellow cards in quick succession and received his marching orders. However, his team mates stuck to the task admirably and held on until half time without any further goals at either end. Midfielder Meireles struck again at the start of the second half as Portugal began to exploit the space created by the extra man. However, Cameroon introduced N’Guemo, Idrissou and Webo mid way through the second half and the fresh legs gave them a new impetus. It was Real Mallorca’s Pierre Webo who reduced the deficit in the 69th minute and suddenly had Portugal worried. In the event, the Portuguese managed to snuff out the threat of a comeback and made the game safe with a third goal from substitute Nani, who had replaced Simao at half time.
Next up for Portugal is the long anticipated trip to South Africa and a final friendly against Mozambique in Johannesburg on the 8th of June before they take on the Ivory Coast in their opening Group G fixture in Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth on the 15th of June.
Cameroon have now played three warm up fixtures without registering a victory and have a final chance to get it right against Serbia in Belgrade on the 5th of June before they do it for real against Japan in Mangaung/Bloemfontein on the 14th of June.
Portugal 3-1 Cameroon (01/06/2010)
45 Danny for Liedson
45 Miguel for Ferreira
45 Nani for Simao
63 Coentrao for Duda
64 Rolando for Alves
73 Costa for Mendes
62 Webo for Song
62 Idrissou for Choupo-Moting
63 N`Guemo for Emana
78 Bong for Makoun