Cameroon‘s Italia ’90
At Italia ’90 Cameroon were the underdogs of the tournament. They surprised the world in their group stage matches as they finished top in a group with Russia, Romania and former World Champions, Argentina. Their talisman forward, Roger Milla who was 38 during the competiton was attracting the most attention for Cameroon. His goalscoring ability was quickly recognised and the trademark dancing celebration was admired by the World.
Cameroon defeated Columbia 2-1 in the Last 16 after Milla netted in the ‘1o6 minute of the match. Two minutes later Cameroon’s star man doubled their lead and fans in Central Africa began to believe this could be their year. In the quarter finals they went a goal down to Bobby Robson’s England in the first half. After the break Cameroon replied with two goals in quick succession which shook the English. In a turn of fortunate events for England, Lineker was bought down after an opposition player left a leg trailing. He now had the chance of levelling the score in the last ten minutes. Lineker placed the penalty and it finished 2-2 in normal time.
15 minutes into extra time England were through on goal when Keeper, Thomas N’kono swiped Lineker’s legs from underneath him. The English were awarded their second penalty of the match and converted it to win the fixture. It is sad to see that Cameroon are one of the teams to miss out on the party in Russia. Nonetheless, they left a solid statement at the World Cup in 1990 and were regarded as the Earth’s favourite team.