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International Friendly Preview: England V Cameroon
England - Cameroon | News Archive

Owen set to lead England's walking wounded (Allsport)
05/25/2002. BACKGROUND

England face Cameroon on Sunday in what is for both sides their last friendly before the World Cup finally kicks-off in less than a weeks time. Both teams go into this warm-up clash having had far from idea weeks for very different reasons.

England are enduring an injury nightmare that has probably left Bobby Charlton considering coming out of retirement to be placed on standby. As a result of these injuries Sven Goran Eriksson has admitted he is unable to field his strongest team against the African Nations Cup champions, and is likely to make plenty of substitutions, as he did against South Korea on Tuesday.

Cameroon have not had the chance to pick up injuries as they have spent the past week just trying to arrive in the Far East. The squad were initially delayed in Paris after a row over players' bonuses took two days to resolve. After stopping in Bombay the teams plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Bangkok after the pilot realised he didn't have permission to fly over Cambodian, Vietnamese and Phillipine airspace. After a six hour delay the team led by German coach Winfried Schafer finally arrived at their Japanese training camp and promptly beat Japanese club side Saga Tosu 1-0 thanks to a goal from Real Mallorca's Samuel Eto'o.

TEAM NEWS

England are without Danny Murphy, who has been forced to pull out of the World Cup after breaking a bone in his foot during training. His place in the squad has been taken by Trevor Sinclair, although the West Ham man must be suffering from jet-lag having travelled 16,000 miles during this week. David Beckham and Kieron Dyer are England's biggest injury worries and are both far from certain of playing against Sweden on June 2. Ashley Cole and David Seaman are also out of this friendly with Cameroon, while Nicky Butt and Robbie Fowler only resumed full training on Friday and would only play a small part of Sunday's friendly at the most. Teddy Sheringham has recovered from a blistered foot and Owen Hargreaves picked up a knock against South Korea, but apart from that England have a clean bill of health.

WORLD CUP SQUADS

England:

Goalkeepers: Seaman (Arsenal), Martyn (Leeds), James (West Ham).
Defenders: Ferdinand (Leeds), Campbell (Arsenal), Southgate (Middlesbrough), Ashley Cole (Arsenal), Bridge (Southampton), Mills (Leeds), Brown (Man Utd),
Keown (Arsenal).
Midfielders: Beckham (Man Utd), Scholes (Man Utd), Sinclair (West Ham), Dyer (Newcastle), Butt (Man Utd), Hargreaves (Bayern Munich), Joe Cole (West
Ham).
Forwards: Owen (Liverpool), Heskey (Liverpool), Vassell (Aston Villa), Fowler (Leeds), Sheringham (Tottenham).

Cameroon:

Goalkeepers: Boukar (Samsusport/Tur), Songo'o (Metz/Fra), Kameni (Juventus/Ita)
Defenders: Song (Cologne/Ger), Nkongo (Extramadura/Spa), Wome (Bologna/Ita), Mettomo (Manchester City/Eng), Beaka (Strasbourg/Fra)
Midfielders: Tchato (Montpellier/Fra), Alnoudji (Rize Sport/Tur), Djemba (Nantes/Fra), Foe (Lyon/Fra), Lauren (Arsenal/Eng), Ndo (Al Khaleej/Ksa), Kome (Numancia/Spa), Geremi (Real Madrid/Spa), Olembe (Marseille/Fra), Epalle (Panahaiki/Gre)
Forwards: Eto'o (Real Mallorca/Spa), MBoma (Sunderland/Eng), Ndiefi (Sedan/Fra), Suffo (Numancia/Spa), Job (Metz/Fra).

SA PREDICTION

England - 30%
Draw - 50%
Cameroon - 20%

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International Friendly Report: England Snatch Late Draw Against Cameroon
England - Cameroon | News Archive

Cameroon came within seconds of winning (Allsport)
05/26/2002. England have narrowly avoided defeat against Cameroon in their final World Cup warm-up match thanks to a late, late equaliser from Robbie Fowler. The Indomitable Lions came within 30 seconds of becoming the first African nation to beat England, but did end three successive defeats against the Three Lions.

England's injury ravaged team lined-up in a 4-3-3 formation, as they did against South Korea last Tuesday, with Joe Cole winning his first start in an England shirt. Possibly more important than the result is the fact that England finished the match without any new injury worries.

Cameroon got off to the perfect start by taking the lead inside the opening five minutes through Mallorca striker Samuel Eto'o. Patrick MBoma switched the play with a fabulous cross-field ball to Pierre Wome who hit the post with either a miss-hit cross or an optimistic shot. Either way the ball rebounded to Eto'o to put the African Nations Cup winners into the lead.

England levelled matters seven minutes later through Darius Vassell's third international goal in what his only his fourth start in an England shirt. Paul Scholes found the Aston Villa man on the edge of the box and he did well to direct his shot in off the inside of the post.

Michael Owen got the ball into the net after Aliom spilled the ball just underneath his crossbar, but the Liverpool striker was correctly ruled offside.

Teddy Sheringham, Trevor Sinclair, Gareth Southgate, Danny Mills, Martin Keown and David James all came on at half time.

Cameroon regained the lead eleven minutes after the break through a wonderfully struck free-kick from Real Madrid's Njanka Geremi. Gareth Southgate handled the ball after a trick from Mboma and the Middlesbrough defender was made to pay.

Sinclair went some way to redeeming himself after his dreadful display against South Korea by being one of England's highlights in the second half. The West Ham winger was at the centre of England's two best chances to level the score. Firstly, Cameroon's goalkeeper Alioum did very well to save his flicked header on the goalline after 73 minutes.

Then five minutes later Sinclair did what he does best and whipped in a dangerous cross from the left flank, which Sheringham flicked just a yard wide of the far post. Robbie Fowler, who had come on for Vassell just three minutes earlier, was almost on hand to knock the ball home.

With the game looking lost for England Teddy Sheringham showed his supreme intelligence to pick out Robbie Fowler with a clever header and the Leeds striker looped his header over Jacques Songo'o, who had come on for Alioum.

The late goal by Fowler changes the whole complexion of the game for England and it will have given the Three Lions a boost. Owen Hargreaves was once again England's best player and has a great chance of starting the World Cup opener against Sweden.

For Cameroon, they can be very proud of their performance and very optimistic for their chances in their World cup group and in Patick Mboma they have a World class talent.

Starting XI's

England: Martyn, Brown, Ferdinand, Campbell, Bridge, Hargreaves, Scholes, Joe Cole, Heskey, Vassell, Owen.

Cameroon: Alioum, Njanka, Kalla, Tchato, Geremi, Wome, Lauren, Foe, Olembe, Eto'o, Mboma.

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