Mexico overcome heavy rain, Cameroon

23:01, Jun 14 2014
Fred dive
Another view of the controversy foul on Fred.
Fred dive
Fred goes down. The call was Croatia's Dejan Lovren fouled him, and the resultant penalty put Brazil up 2-1 and turned the match.
Brazil v Croatia
Brazil's Neymar celebrates after scoring a goal from a penalty kick from the Fred foul.
Brazil v Croatia
Croatia's goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa fails to save the penalty.
Brazil v Croatia
Ivan Perisic of Croatia celebrates going 1-0 up as Brazil's Marcelo gets a deflection into the net for an own goal.
Brazil v Croatia
Brazil's Marcelo opens the scoring for the tournament - unfortunately it was an own goal.
Neymar
Neymar, second from left, celebrates with Dani Alves and Fred after his first goal.
Neymar
Hero of the day Neymar celebrates his first goal.
Giovani dos Santos
Giovani dos Santos is irate after a goal is disallowed for the second time against Cameroon.
Giovani dos Santos
Giovani dos Santos finds the back of the net, only for the goal to be disallowed.
Oribe Peralta
Mexico's Oribe Peralta heads the ball down under attention from Cameroon's Aurelien Chedjou.
Miguel Herrara
Mexico coach Miguel Herrera appeals to the fourth official Norbert Hauata after their first goal is disallowed.
Alex Song
Cameroon's Alex Song holds off Mexico's Jose Juan Vazquez.
Oribe Peralta
Oribe Peralta 61st-minute shot off a rebound proved the difference against Cameroon.
David Luiz
David Luiz of Brazil beats Javier Hernandez of Mexico during their World Cup clash at Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Rafael Marquez
Mexico's Rafael Marquez, left, fights for the ball with Brazil's David Luiz during their 2014 World Cup Group A football match.
Francisco Rodriguez
Brazil's Neymar holds the net after a failed attempt at the goal, as Mexico's Francisco Rodriguez smiles, during their World Cup football clash.
Paul Aguilar
Brazil's Neymar (right) fights for the ball with Mexico's Paul Aguilar during their 2014 World Cup Group A football match at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Neymar
Brazil's Neymar reacts during his side's 2014 World Cup Group A football match against Mexico at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Mexico gallery
Mexico's Guillermo Ochoa receives a hug from teammate Paul Aguilar at the end of his side's 0-0 draw with Brazil at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Mario Mandzukic
Mario Mandzukic of Croatia celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the Group A match against Cameroon at Arena Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil.
Dany Nounkeu
Croatia's Mario Mandzukic (left) fights for the ball with Cameroon's Dany Nounkeu during their World Cup Group A football clash.
Ivan Perisic
Ivan Perisic of Croatia (second right) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal against Cameroon.
Dejan Lovren
Dejan Lovren of Croatia challenges Vincent Aboubakar of Cameroon during their World Cup clash at Arena Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil.
Alexandre Song
Referee Pedro Proenca of Portugal sends off Cameroon's Alexandre Song for a challenge on Croatia's Mario Mandzukic (on ground) during their World Cup match.
Benjamin Moukandjo
Benjamin Moukandjo of Cameroon controls the ball against Danijel Pranjic of Croatia during their Group A World Cup clash.
Fernandinho
Brazil's Fernandinho (second right) celebrates after scoring a goal with teammates during their 2014 World Cup Group A football match against Cameroon at the Brasilia national stadium in Brasilia.
Fernandinho
Brazil's Fernandinho (second right) celebrates after scoring a goal with teammates during their 2014 World Cup Group A football match against Cameroon at the Brasilia national stadium in Brasilia.
Fernandinho
Julio Cesar (far left), Fernandinho and Luiz Gustavo of Brazil react after defeating Cameroon 4-1 during their Group A match against Cameroon at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil.
Julio Cesar
Brazil's Fernandinho (right) shoots to score past Cameroon's Nicolas Nkoulou.
Fred
Brazil's Fred (right) celebrates his goal against Cameroon with teammates Neymar (second right) and Daniel Alves (left).
David Luiz
David Luiz of Brazil (left) celebrates his team's third goal, scored by Fred, during the Group A World Cup clash between Cameroon and Brazil at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil.
Ante Rebic
Ante Rebic of Croatia walks off the pitch after receiving a red card during his side's loss to Mexico at Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil.
Andres Guardado
Mexico's Andres Guardado (top) jumps over Croatia's Danijel Pranjic during their World Cup Group A football match in Recife.
Ravshan Irmatov
Referee Ravshan Irmatov of Uzbekistan stands between Mexico's Andres Guardado (left) and Croatia's Darijo Srna during their World Cup Group A football match at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife.
Niko Kovac
Croatia's coach Niko Kovac speaks with Mario Mandzukic after being defeated by Mexico.
Javier Hernandez
Mexico's Javier Hernandez celebrates after scoring a goal against Croatia at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife.
Rafael Marquez
Mexico's Javier Hernandez celebrates teammate Rafael Marquez's goal against Croatia during their World Cup Group A football match in Recife June 23, 2014.

Mexico got just rewards for their attacking intent when Oribe Peralta's 61st minute strike gave them a 1-0 win over Cameroon in their World Cup opener at a rain-saturated Dunas arena on Friday (local time).

The Mexicans had two Giovani dos Santos efforts controversially disallowed in the first half but Peralta's goal means they will now feel they have a good chance of progressing from Group A, which also includes hosts Brazil and Croatia.

Cameroon, who only arrived in Brazil after a player strike was averted by last-minute negotiations, had packed their midfield in an attempt to stifle the Mexicans and lone striker Samuel Eto'o failed to find the goal with his few opportunities.

Mexico came out to attack as coach Miguel Herrera had promised and 'El Tri' dominated the opening exchanges with wingbacks Miguel Layun and Paul Aguilar getting plenty of space out wide.

Dos Santos first found the net with a neat volley after 11 minutes but was called back despite appearing to be in line with the defenders.

Cameroon could have taken the lead after 21 minutes when fullback Benoit Assou-Ekotto beat two defenders and found Eto'o in the box but the striker was able only hit the outside of the post.

Eto'o had another chance three minutes later but was unable to control the ball when Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting headed it down to his feet in the six yard box.

Mexico should have been in front after 29 minutes when Andres Guardado's free kick from the right found Rafael Marquez and Hector Moreno unmarked at the far post but the opportunity went begging.

If the decision to deny dos Santos a first goal could be called a marginal call, the second after half an hour was a clear error.

A corner swung in from the left was flicked on by one Cameroon defender and, as another raced off the line, dos Santos managed to turn back and head the ball into the net.

As the rain continued to lash down, Peralta almost broke the deadlock three minutes after the break when dos Santos's flick played him through on goal only for Cameroon goalkeeper Charles Itandje to block his shot with his legs.

Cameroon's Assou-Ekotto had a free kick deflected off the Mexico wall and just wide after 58 minutes but the game did not have to wait much longer for its first goal.

Dos Santos was released through the middle of the Cameroon defence and when Itandje managed to stop his low drive, Peralta was on hand to steer the ball into the empty net and send Herrera and the thousands of Mexican fans into paroxysms of joy.

Cameroon continued to threaten from set pieces and Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was forced to make a fine save to prevent Benjamin Moukandjo equalising with a header in stoppage time.

Branded traitors at home after the strike over bonuses, the Cameroon players had hoped to answer their critics on the pitch and a fifth successive World Cup defeat was not what that had been looking for.

Cameroon have now won just one World Cup match since becoming the first African team to reach the quarter-finals in 1990.

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Reuters