Sebastian Giovinco had the first attempt of the
game on six minutes when he left Alexander Song for dead with a great turn,
before firing straight at Tignyemb from 25 yards.
made the brighter start but on 13 minutes they shot themselves in the foot
when Salvatore Bocchetti conceded a penalty for handling in the area. Chedjou
stepped up but Viviano guessed correctly and made an excellent one handed save
low down to his right. La Nazionale were a little shocked by the penalty, but
Viviano’s great stop dashed away any nerves and the Azzurrini began to find
their rhythm once again.
Casiraghi's side kept
attacking as their opponents were pressed back in their own half. Cameroon were
playing rough and physical with Giovinco the main target. Chedjou then threatened dat the other end but his
cross-cum-shot was wayward and posed no trouble for Viviano.
The Azzurri then
should have had a penalty but the referee waved play on. Giovinco brought the
ball down with the lightest of touches in the Cameroon penalty area and but he
was crashed to the ground by Tignyemb, who took him out with force. Incredibly,
the referee looked away and play resumed.
It was a poor decision and Italy had every right to feel
Minutes later, the African side let frustrations get to
them as La Nazionale played their way through.
Manjedk came in with his studs showing on Nocerino.
It was a nasty foul and the referee had no choice but to pull out the red card. The first half fizzled out with neither side showing much attacking prowess.
The second period resumed at a slow tempo and
neither team looked lively. Cameroon looked happy to sit back and take a draw. One couldn’t blame them given
their numberical disadvantage.
The rhythm of the first half had gone. It was dull
and uninspiring and the crowd began to show their frustrations by jeering. Italy had no
creativity and the Azzurrini were finding it hard to cope against the physical
prowess of the African side.
Giovinco tried his best to get things going but his
super run was stopped as he approached the edge of the box. The Juve man kept
possession and laid the ball off to Cigarini but his left foot drive was straight
at the 'keeper.
everyone behind the ball as they defended desperately. Italy just
could find a way through as the clock ticked on. It was frustrating for
Pierluigi Casiraghi, who was warned to calm down on the touchline by the fourth
The African side just held onto the ball with the
hope that the clock would hit 90 minutes before the referee could blow his whistle.
Indeed, neither team wanted to throw caution to the wind
and go for the win.
The Azzurrini looked tired and unable to move
around come the closing stages. It was a hot and humid evening in Beijing
and it took its toll on the players.
The result sees Italy qualify for the quarter final
stages. However, La Nazionale will need to improve vastly based on tonight’s
performance if they are to have a chance of going for Olympic gold.
Tignyemb, Ghomsi, Bikey, Song, Bebey(Ngal), Enam, Songoo, Mbia, Chedjou (Songoo), Bekamenga, Bebbe
Viviano: De Silvestri, Bocchetti, Coda, De Ceglie, Dessena (Cigarini),
Montolivo, Nocerino, Rossi, Giovinco,
Cards: Mandjeck Red/Cameroon