Croatia left their loss against Brazil in the first game of the World Cup far behind them as they handily dispatched Cameroon 4-0. The loss eliminated Cameroon, but Croatia can still beat Mexico to advance.
Although their position in the group table would suggest otherwise, Croatia has proven to be the best team of Group A thus far. Brazil looked lackluster in the opening game against the Niko Kovac's side, benefitting from a dubious penalty to get their momentum going on their way to a 3-1 win. The Brazilians didn't look much better against Mexico, drawing 0-0, and the Mexicans only managed a 1-0 victory over Cameroon.
On Wednesday in Manaus, Croatia were far and away the better team on the pitch against Cameroon, easily winning 4-0 and providing the best play of the Group thus far. The win means Croatia can still advance to the knock-out stage of the World Cup, provided they win against Mexico on Monday. Cameroon, coached by German Volker Finke, have been eliminated from the tournament.
Even before a senseless foul led to a red card for Cameroon's Alex Song in the 40th minute, giving Croatia a man advantage for over a half, the Croatians had settled comfortably in the driver's seat.
Wolfsburg's Ivica Olic started the scoring for Croatia in the 11th minute. His club teammate, Ivan Perisic played an excellent pass through the defense to set up the goal.
In the second half, taking advantage of the extra man, Croatia padded their lead with an additional three goals. Perisic's solo run down the left flank made it 2-0 in the 47th minute. Just past the hour mark, Danil Pranjic launch an excellent corner within the wide range of Bayern Munich's Mario Mandzukic, who expertly headed in the goal.
Mandzukic also provided Croatia's final goal in the 73rd minute: an easy pick-up after Eduardo's shot was deflected by Cameroon's keeper, Charles Itandje.