A second half strike from Oribe Peralta was enough to seal all three points in Group A for Mexico as they overcame Cameroon in monsoon-like conditions in Natal on Friday night.
Mexico made much the better start and threatened the Cameroon goal several times in the opening ten minutes as both sides came to terms with the testing conditions.
The first controversial moment of the night arrived on 10 minutes when Giovani dos Santos beat the offside trap and skilfully slotted the ball past Charles Itandje in the Cameroon goal. His joy was short lived as the assistant raised his flag for offside. Dos Santos’s anger was justified as replays showed the Villareal forward to be in an onside position.
Five minutes later, following a Cameroon corner, Samuel Eto had the ball in the Mexican net but he was correctly flagged offside. Mexico continued to look very composed passing the ball very well despite the rain and keeping possession with aplomb.
Soon afterwards, Eto had a great chance for Cameroon. Assou-Ekotto made a great break skipping past a defender but the Chelsea striker smashed it wide.
Mexico had a golden opportunity after 26 minutes when Márquez took the ball off Moreno's head for what surely would have been the lead.
As the rain continued to beat down Mexico suffered their second injustice. Dos Santos again had the ball in the net only to see his effort ruled out again. Again the decision to rule the goal out proved to be incorrect from replays. Just before the break, Mexico had a shout for a penalty - again it was Dos Santos who was the central figure but it would the referee waved away any appeals.
Mexico kept their first half momentum up into the second half and Cameroon keeper Itandje had to be alert to deny Paralta moments after the restart.
The breakthrough came after 60 minutes when Peralta slotted the ball home after Herera's initial effort was parried by Itandje.
Hernandez came on for Peralta after 73 minutes and he added that extra pace that was need to keep the Cameroon defence well stretched.
Mexico’s Marco Fabian had a half chance before Cameroon had a couple of late efforts to grab the equaliser. Only good defending by Rodriguez and a great save by Ochoa denied Cameroon an equaliser that they would not have deserved.
Hernandez almost had the final say when he whacked the ball over the bar for six yards in the 92nd minute. Mexico saw out the final three minutes of the 'added five' with some ease for a well deserved win.
Mexico: Ochoa; Aguilar, Moreno, Marquez, Rodriguez, Layun; Herrer; Vázquez, dos Santos, Guardado (Fabian, 68); Peralta (Hernandez, 73).
Cameroon: Itandje; Djeugoue (Nounkeu 46), N'Koulou, Chedjou, Assou Ekotto; Song (Webo, 79); Mbia, Enoh; Moukandjo, Eto'o, Choupo-Moting.
Referee: Wilmar Roldan (Colombia)
Man of the Match; Giovanni dos Santos
Pete is based in Galway with an eclectic interest in all sports, but writes predominantly for Extratime on all things Salthill Devon, where he is a founder member, and Galway United. He is the Media guy for the Galway Cup and produces the video blogs during the tournament. He has coached since the 1970's winning an All Ireland Schools title with St Enda's Galway and managing and coaching countless Salthill Devon teams in addition to Galway League and Connacht teams. Currently coaching the Salthill Devon U14 Girls. Away from the field Pete is a communications professional with his own business 15 Eleven Communications, developing websites, devising Digital Marketing strategies writing and teaching.