Winnipeg (Canada), June 17 (IANS) Cameroon posted a dramatic second-half performance to nail down a 2-1 comeback win over Switzerland to book a berth in the last 16 of the women’s football World Cup here.
Cameroon collected six points from two wins and one loss to finish second in Group C, ahead of Switzerland, three points on third. Defending champions Japan became the first team to pocket three wins in the group stage as they grabbed a hard-fought 1-0 win over the winless Ecuador to take first place in the group on Tuesday, reports Xinhua.
Japan still wait for their first knockout round opponents while Cameroon will face second-placed China from Group A in the last 16 on June 20.
Ana Maria Crnogorcevic put the Swiss ahead after 24 minutes as Cameroon’s goalkeeper Anette Ngo Ndom failed to clear a through ball. Switzerland led 1-0 at halftime.
Desperate for a win to advance, Cameroon came back with more determined as Gabrielle Onguene struck just two minutes after the break, firing from 18 yards for the equaliser.
Cameroon found back their confidence and Madeleine Ngono Mani let the dream come true as she headed in the go-ahead goal (62nd minute) and the Africans achieved their first win over European opponents in the tournament.
The Japanese were not as fast and precise as they were four years ago in Germany, but were still good enough to wrap up the group stage with maximum points. Yuki Ogimi scored an early goal after five minutes into the game as she got a touch of Aya Miyama’s shot to put Japan ahead 1-0.
None of Japan’s three wins were convincing as they beat Switzerland 1-0 and Cameroon 2-1. Their next opponents will be one of the best third placed teams.