Cameroon has become the first team eliminated from the 2010 World Cup after their 2-1 loss to Denmark in Pretoria. Goals by Nicklas Bendtner and Dennis Rommedahl brought the Danes back from an early deficit, when mistakes at the back by Thomas Sorensen and Christian Poulsen gifted Samuel Eto'o the opening goal.
It was the most open game of the tournament, with the teams combining for 36 shots, 12 of which found goal. Cameroon's seven shots on Sorensen were the most in this tournament by a team that lost the game.
As a result, Cameroon is the first team eliminated from the 2010 World Cup. They sit on zero points in Group E and face the Netherlands in the group's final round next Thursday. The Dutch are on six points, three ahead of both Japan and Denmark, who play each other, guaranteeing at least one of the teams will gain points and finish above Cameroon.
Early in the match Cameroon appeared poised to avoid elimination, taking advantage of Danish mistakes to take a lead within ten minutes. Goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen passed the ball from the six yard box to Christian Poulsen, standing outside the penalty area but with three Cameroon players near him. Poulsen tried to move the ball right to Simon Kjaer only to have the pass intercepted, played back to Eto'o in the middle of the box for an easy goal.
Denmark responded before halftime when Dennis Rommedahl beat Cameroon down the right side of attack, rolled a cross over the top of the six yard box, creating an open-net opportunity for Nicklas Bendtner, tying the score.
The sides exchanged near-changes for Jon Dahl Tomasson (set-up again by Rommedahl) and Eto'o (hitting the post) before halftime, though the teams would stay drawn 1-1 into the second half.
In the 61ts minute, man of the match Rommedahl again beat Cameroon through the defense's left, this time keeping the shot for himself, able to beat midfielder Jean Makoun and get a shot off on his left foot, bending it into the far side netting.
Both teams had opportunities in the last third of the match. Rommedahl again tried to set up Tomasson to no avail, and Cameroon's Echille Amana would have equalized in the 77th minute were it not for a fingertip save by Sorensen.