Home > Tournament Statistics, World Cup > Cameroon 1998: A Profile

Cameroon 1998: A Profile

If you haven’t already, check out our post about the World Cup Disciplinary History to find out why we think Cameroon’s 1998 World Cup squad is relevant to U.S. soccer fans.  Or continue reading after the break.

Cameroon 1998 is the only team in major international tournament history to be punished more harshly than the U.S. has been in the 2009 Confederations Cup.  In three matches (Austria, Italy, and Chile), Cameroon received three straight red cards and six yellow cards.

But it isn’t just the numbers that make Cameroon 1998 a pitiable team on paper (and U.S. fans an empathetic audience).  Let’s take a closer look at that group:

After the first set of matches (Cameroon – Austria; Italy – Chile) all four teams were tied with the top two advancing.  Cameroon had scored a 78th minute goal for a late lead, which was equalized in the 90th minute by Austria.

The next set of matches were Cameroon – Italy and Austria – Chile.  Austria and Chile were tied at the half (0:0) and at the end of the game (1:1).  Cameroon would not be so lucky.  In a moment that is familiar to U.S. fans, Cameroon conceded an early (7′) goal to Italy.  The game stayed even until Raymond Kalla (CMR) was sent off in the 42nd minute.  Cameroon kept Italy from scoring again until two late Viera goals (75′ and 89′) sealed their fate.

Heading into the final set of matches (Cameroon – Chile; Austria – Italy), Italy led the group with 4 points, Austria and Chile were tied at 2, and Cameroon had 1.

Chile took a 1-0 lead over Cameroon into the half.  But shortly after the break, “a flagrant elbow on Chile’s star forward” led to the ejection of Riogobert Song (CMR), who already had a yellow card but whose foul apparently merited the straight red.  Cameroon tied the game in the 55th minute before a second straight red in the 88th minute to Lauren (who had come on only 6 minutes earlier) ended the scoring.

The Fouls Earning Cameroon Three Straight Red Cards:

Raymond Kalla (Defender) — against Italy

Riogobert Song (Defender) — against Chile

Lauren (Midfielder) — against Chile


A questionable straight red card with lots of time left in a close game against Italy?  Sounds familiar.  Unlike the U.S. however, it appears that at least one of Cameroon’s fouls was red worthy (elbow to face).


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