Both teams were looking to earn their first points of the World Cup, and it was Croatia who earnt the three points in the heat of Manaus.
It took the European side only 11 minutes to score. A Srna cross into Mario Mandzukic was rebounded into Ivan Perisic’s path on the edge of the box. The midfielder had space to shoot, but instead had the awareness to pass the ball across the box to Ivica Olic. The Wolfsburg striker diverted the ball into the net, to the delight of the Croatian side.
As Cameroon were looking to get back into the match, a moment of stupidity arrived on 40 minutes by Alex Song. Despite the midfielder having plenty of big match experience with Arsenal and Barcelona, he elbowed the back of Mandzukic off the ball for no real reason, leaving the African side playing with just 10 men in the second half, a goal down.
That misery was compounded in the 48th minute through a solo goal from Perisic. Starting on the half way line and space to exploit, the winger ran straight towards goal and on the angle, found the corner, a lovely second or Croatia.
Mandzukic then added his name on the scoresheet in the 61st minute, scoring a powerful header from a Pranjic corner to make it 3-0.
The outgoing Bayern Munich striker scored his second and Croatia’s fourth after being first to a rebound from a Eduardo strike, and tapping into the empty net.