COLONIA DEL SACRAMENTO, November 14, 2018 – A duel of two red cards and a contentious penalty ended with the United States beating Cameroon 3-0 in launching a pursuit of the one FIFA women’s crown to elude them.
Their Group C tie in the U-17 Women’s World Cup saw Australian referee Casey Reibelt dismiss Cameroon goalkeeper Christemille Onomo shortly before the end of the first half and defender Claudia Dabba for a second yellow card near the end of the second.
The United States capitalised on not only their numerical superiority as the game ran on after also benefiting from a contentious opening goal in Colonia, west of Montevideo.
In the 22nd minute midfielder Mia Fishel, with Cameroon complaining that one of their players was lying injured, found herself behind the defenders and struck a shot which ricocheted back off Cameroon goalkeeper Onomo for Fishel to bury in the back of the net.
The game’s physicality brought yellow cards for Cameroon’s Diane Tchanko and Dabdo in the 31st and 41st minutes respectively. Their best chance of the half came shortly after their first yellow when defender McKenna Morris had to clear off the US goal-line.
The second US goal may have sparked a desire on Cameroon’s side for the extension of the use of VAR in FIFA competitions.
Head coach of Cameroon Stephane Ndzana reacts to a contentious penalty for USA. (Photo: Getty Images)
Onomo charged out her goal to contest a 50/50 ball and was guilty of dangerous play against US forward Mia Doms. Cameroon complained in vain that the foul had been committed outside the penalty area. Onomo was sent off and the penalty kick was converted for a first personal goal of the afternoon for player-of-the-game Sunshine Fontes.
The second half was equally physical. Cameroon, down one player, continued with just as much grit. They had ample opportunities to make Angelina Anderson work in the US net. The best chance came when Henriette Monkam drilled a ball from 30 yards out which Anderson punched over the top.
While much of the controversy favoured the US, one unlucky player was Payton Linnehan. Her shot ripped against the bar and bounced down the line before it was cleared. It could have been called either way but Cameroon were due something to fall their way.
The US eventually scored one with which nobody could argue: in the 81st minute Fontes buried her second goal of the game with a rocket from 25 yards.
With the game ending on a positive note for the US, it continued to grow worse for Cameroon with Dabda’s foul tackle earning a second yellow card so Cameroon ended the match with eight outfield players – and without two of their starters next time out.