sport

Finke offers no excuses

Volker Finke refused to blame the conditions as Cameroon suffered a 1-0 defeat in their World Cup opener against Mexico.

Heavy rain fell throughout a sodden Group A contest in Natal.

Mexico were able to adapt their game much the better, creating the clearer chances and netting the only goal of the game.

Oribe Peralta made the difference just past the hour mark, but only after Giovani dos Santos had seen two marginal offside decisions go against him as he netted twice in the opening 45 minutes.

Cameroon did ride their luck at times, but created enough opportunities - particularly late on - to have taken something from the tie.

Finke, though, is refusing to dwell on what could have been, with his focus having already shifted to a meeting with Croatia in Manaus on Wednesday.

"The conditions weren't an excuse for our performance," said the German tactician.

"We had some problems through the middle of midfield in the first 20 minutes or so, but we eventually adapted.

"The second half we were better, but overall we're disappointed.

"We had a few chances to score, and didn't. They had goals ruled out, but that's the way it is.

"Now we've got five days before our next match, which will already be decisive for our World Cup."

Experienced frontman Samuel Eto'o - taking part at his fourth finals - echoed the sentiments of his boss as he called on his team-mates to look forward.

He said: "It's important for us to remain positive. We wanted to start the competition with a positive result, but God wanted it otherwise.

"We can beat any team on our day, but we'll have to be at our best to beat Croatia. It won't be easy because they're in the same position as us.

"Now, we have to turn our attention to preparing as best we can."