My personal blog on Scottish Women's Football
Cameroon produced a stunning attacking display as they thrashed Ecuador 6-0 in the battle of the debutants. The game took until the 34th minute to spark to life when Madeline Ngono Mani blasted the ball into the net. Two minutes later, they doubled their lead as Gaelle Enganamouit finished with a calm shot. Just before half-time, Cameroon won the first of three penalties as Kerlly Real fouled Gabrielle Onguene, and the captain Christine Manie converted the spot kick.
Half-way through the second half, Ecuador was reduced to 10 women, as captain Ligia Moreira brought down Enganamouit just outside the box. In the 73rd minute, Cameroon made it 4-0 as Enganamouit scored a tap-in. They had their second penalty as Katherine Ortiz handled in the box, with Onguene converting it. And then in second half stoppage time, Cameroon had their third penalty whilst Engangamouit converted to become the 15th player to score a hat-trick in the World Cup.
The game had a slow start, but Cameroon were showing their threat, with Onguene and Engangamouit showing their skills. It was Engangamouit who had the first shot, but it was blocked well by Ligia Moreira.
Cameroon should have scored in the 19th minute when a corner was cleared to Engangamouit. She crossed the ball into the box, Ecuador’s keeper Shirley Berruz just kept the ball away from a Cameroon player, only for the ball to fall to Onguene who fired over despite having an empty net. And then later, Onguene’s corner was cleared to Engangamouit whose venomous shot was well saved low down by Berruz.
They kept on coming. Engangamouit broke to the byline and picked out Onguene whose effort crashed off the crossbar. The ball span upwards to Ngono Mani, but her header was saved.
And then they took the lead. Onguene broke down the right wing and pulled the ball back to Engangamouit. Her shot was saved by Berruz, but the rebound fell to Ngono Mani who blasted the ball into the net.
Two minutes later, it was 2-0. A long ball was played over the Ecuador defence to Engangamouit who ran into the box before placing the ball into the bottom right corner.
Ecuador finally had a chance from a free-kick, just outside the box. Ambar Torres stepped up, but her curled effort hit the side-netting.
In the 43rd minute, Cameroon won a penalty when 16-year-old Kerlly Real brought down Onguene. The Cameroon captain Christine Manie then coolly placed the ball into the bottom left corner, with Berruz diving the wrong way.
The second half had a slow start, but Onguene had the earliest chance when in the box she blasted the ball well wide.
Ecuador had a decent opportunity in the 65 minute, but Denis Pesantes’ 25-yard shot was an easy save for Annette Ngo Ndom.
Any chance though of Ecuador getting back into the tie disappeared in the 67th minute. Engangamouit controlled a long ball superbly and as she looked to break into the box was brought down by the Ecuadorian captain Moreira. As she was the last woman, the ref had little option other than to show the red card. In a rare moment of weakness, Engangamouit blasted the free-kick over.
There was a moment of confusion and bewilderment as Ecuador tried to make a substitution. Monica Quinteros had left the field of play, and Katherine Ortiz sprinted onto replace her. But she immediately received a yellow card because she had come onto too early, as there was a technical error with the replacement board. Eventually, another board was found and the replacement could be made.
But the next minute, it was 4-0. Onguene is played into the box and despite looking like she was about to shoot, she cut the ball back across the six-yard line to Enganamouit who was left with a tap-in.
And in the 78th minute, Cameroon won another penalty. Claudine Meffometou Tcheno’s cross was clearly handled in the box by Ortiz. The referee avoided controversy by not seeing it worthy of a card because it was still unsure whether Ortiz’s booking before she came on actually counted. Onguene took the penalty and sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 5-0.
The last moment of action came deep into second-half stoppage time when Enganamouit was clipped in the box by Olvera and the referee awarded a penalty. Enganamouit placed the ball on the spot and blasted it down the middle to score her hat-trick.
Cameroon will face a tough challenge next up against Japan, but their goal difference will give them hope of qualifying for the last-16.
Woman of the Match:
No real surprise I’m going for Gaelle Enganamouit who not only scored a hat-trick, put in an all-round performance of note.
Cameroon: Annette Ngo Ndom, Claudine Meffometou Tcheno, Cathy Bou Ndjouh, Christine Manie, Yvonne Leuko, Raissa Feudjio, Jeannette Yango, Claudine Enganamouit, Genevieve Ngo Mbeleck (Francine Zouga 61), Gabrielle Onguene (Henriette Akaba 83), Madeleine Ngono Mani (Ajara Nchout 74).
Goals: Ngono Mani (34), Enganamouit (36, 73, 90+4 pen), Manie (44 pen), Aboudi Onguene (79 pen)
Bookings: Yango 38
Ecuador: Shirley Berruz, Kerlly Real, Nancy Aguilar, Ligia Moreira, Angie Ponce, Mayra Olvera, Denise Pesantes, Madeline Riera, Mabel Velarde (Ingrid Rodriguez 45), Ambar Torres (Giannina Lattanzio 54), Monica Quinteros (Katherine Ortiz 72).
Booked: Real 43, Rodriguez 45+2, Ortiz 70
Sent Off: Moreira 66.