Portugal vs. Cameroon: Final score 5-1, brilliant second half from hosts

Mike Hewitt

Cameroon had a decent first half. They did not have a decent second half.

Portugal, despite their struggles in major tournaments, generally scare the crap out of fans of teams who are drawn against them. They never have serious depth and their form has been average lately, but they have Cristiano Ronaldo, who is very good at ball-kicking. As it turns out, they have lots of other players who are good. They were rampant on Wednesday, beating Cameroon 5-1.

The first half was actually a somewhat evenly matched affair. Portugal had the better of the play and got on the board first -- Ronaldo scored in the 21st minute from the edge of the penalty box -- but Cameroon hung tough and eventually found an equalizer. Vincent Aboubakar was the surprise scorer just before halftime, giving Portugal something to think about as they went to the locker room.

Unfortunately for the visitors, what they made Portugal think about was apparently figuring out how to turn up the tempo considerably. They forced Guy N'Dy into an audacious triple save in the 56th minute and finally took the lead 10 minutes after that, when Raul Meireles intercepted a poor pass by Aurelien Chedjou and passed the ball into the back of the net. After that, the floodgates were wide open.

Fabio Coentrao added another goal a minute later, finishing off a brilliant assist by Ivan Cavaleiro, who turned away from his defender and hit a perfect short through ball. Edinho added a goal in the 77th minute, cleaning up in front of the goal after N'Dy parried a shot by Ronaldo, who would get his second goal just six minutes after that.

Portugal look good. Scary good, if you're a supporter of Ghana, Germany or the United States.

Portugal: Beto (Eduardo 46'), Coentrao, Neto, Rolando, Pereira, Carvalho (Veloso 76'), Moutinho, Meireles, Ronaldo (Josue 87'), Cavaleiro (Varela 69'), Rafa (Edinho 46', Vitorino 81')

Goals: Ronaldo (21', 83'), Meireles (66'), Coentrao (67'), Edinho (77')

Cameroon: Itandje (N'Dy 46'), Assou-Ekotto, N'Koulou (Biyik 46'), Chedjou (Nounkeu 71'), Nyom, Song, Makoun (Matip 72'), Enoh, Aboubakar (Bedimo 63'), Eto'o, Choupo-Moting (Idrissou 84')

Goals: Aboubakar (43')

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