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Cameroon

Cameroon

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Team Profile: Cameroon

CAF Qualifiers

GettyImagesCameroon and Roger Milla made a huge impact on Italia '90

Appearances at finals:
1982 - First round
1990 - Quarter-finals
1994 - First round
1998 - First round
2002 - First round

Overall record at finals: Played 17, Won 4, Drawn 7, Lost 6.

Best performance: Quarter-finals in 1990.

Most apearances at finals: Roger Milla (1982), (1990), (1994) - 10.

Most goals at finals: Roger Milla (1990, 1994) - 5.

World Cup high: Reaching the quarter-finals in 1990. Cameroon began the finals with a memorable 1-0 win over reigning champions Argentina, courtesy of a François Omam-Biyik goal, winning the group ahead of Romania and USSR. Two extra-time goals from Roger Milla saw them move past Colombia in the second round before the 'Indomitable Lions' suffered extra-time heartbreak of their own as they went down 3-2 to England despite another impressive showing.

World Cup low: Getting thrashed 6-1 at the hands of Russia at the 1994 finals. Oleg Salenko scored a record five goals in the match to condemn Cameroon to bottom spot in the group, with a 2-2 draw with Sweden all they had to show for their appearance at the finals.

World Cup legend: Roger Milla. Rigobert Song may be set to overtake his Cameroon finals appearance record, but Milla is a player who epitomised the spirit of World Cup football, representing the 'Indomitable Lions' at three finals. Incredibly, he was Cameroon's top scorer at the 1990 finals without starting a single game. As a super-sub, Milla netted two crucial braces in 2-1 wins against Romania and Colombia in the second round. He is both the oldest player to have played and to have scored at the World Cup, a record achieved at 42 years and 39 days when he made his final international appearance against Russia in the 1994 World Cup.

The story so far: Cameroon competed in their first World Cup finals in 1982, becoming the fourth African country to do so after Morocco, Zaire and Tunisia. In their first ever finals match, they earned an impressive 1-1 draw with eventual champions Italy. They finished the group stage unbeaten after draws with Poland and Peru but were eliminated on goals scored behind the Italians.

In 1990, they stole headlines around the globe with perhaps the most memorable display by an African team at the World Cup. After shocking the world by beating reigning champions Argentina 1-0, Cameroon also picked up a win over Romania before losing to USSR, and they became the first African side to win their group at a finals. Colombia were beaten in the second round before Cameroon threw away a 2-1 lead over England, losing 3-2 after almost causing another major shock.

The 1994 tournament was one to forget as Cameroon crashed out after losing 3-0 to Brazil and 6-1 to Russia, ending up bottom of their group. The only highlight was Roger Milla's record-breaking appearance and goal against the Russians. In 1998, the 'Indomitable Lions' finished bottom of their group again with a 3-0 defeat to Italy sandwiched in between draws with Austria and Chile. And in 2002, after qualifying for a fourth straight finals, Cameroon narrowly missed out on a place in the second round, drawing with Ireland and beating Saudi Arabia before losing 2-0 to eventual finalists Germany in a game they needed to draw to progress.

After disappointingly missing out on the 2006 finals, Samuel Eto'o and co now have a chance to move out of the shadow of the 1990 side and write a new chapter in Cameroon's World Cup history.

Qualification: Cameroon looked as though they would ease their way to South Africa after cruising through their opening African qualification group. Samuel Eto'o scored six goals in six games as boss Otto Pfister recorded five wins and just one draw - away to Tanzania - on their way to the third qualifying round.

But they failed to maintain their form and it appeared their World Cup dream was over after a 1-0 away defeat to Togo and a home draw with Morocco in their opening two games, which saw Pfister sacked and former Lyon boss Paul Le Guen appointed. Cameroon experienced a revival in fortunes with Le Guen at the helm as, helped greatly by the scoring exploits of Samuel Eto'o, they recorded four successive victories, including the 2-0 away win away to Morocco that secured their qualification at the expense of second-placed Gabon and booked their place at the finals for the sixth time, breaking the African record.

Qualifying record (second round): P6, W5, D1, L0, F 14, A2, Pts16.

Qualifying record (third round): P6, W4, D1, L1, F9, A2, Pts13.

Most appearances: Rigobert Song, Jean Makoun, Idriss Kameni (12).

Top goalscorer: Samuel Eto'o (9).