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Saturday, 1 June, 2002, 05:56 GMT 06:56 UK
Clockwatch: Ireland 1-1 Cameroon


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All the action as it happened from the opening game of Group E.

94 mins: A brave, spirited display by Ireland - particularly in the second half - sees them come back from a goal down to draw with Cameroon.

92 mins: Ireland are pressing for the winner but narrowly fail to thread the ball thorugh their opponents' defence.

89 mins: The free-kick is hit fiercely by Steven Reid, but the shot is directed straight at CAmeroon keeper Boukar Alioum.

88 mins: A precise turn earns Damien Duff space but he is up-ended by Raymond Kalla, who is shown the yellow card for the offence.

83 mins: Ireland are within inches of taking the lead as Robbie Keane's sweetly-struck shot thuds off the post.

82 mins: Steven Reid makes a late challenge and becomes the third Ireland player to go into the book.

80 mins: Bill Tchato makes a well-timed saving tackle as Robbie Keane looked to profit from a wayward pass from Pierre Wome.

77 mins: Steven Reid replaces Ian Harte, who earlier had treatment after landing awkwardly on his ankle.

75 mins: A shocking pass by Salomon Olembe gifts Ireland a throw-in deep in Cameroon territory.

68 mins: Patrick Suffo comes on for Patrick Mboma as Cameroon decide to reinforce their midfield.

67 mins: Against the run of play Samuel Eto'o has a chance to restore Cameroon's lead. His pace takes him clear but he drags his shot wide.

63 mins: For the second time in the match, Rigobert Song almost scores an own-goal. This time he turns the ball towards his net after Kevin Kilbane heads across the box. Once again Boukar Alioum saves well.

60 mins: Boukar Alioum spills Ian Harte's corner, but the Cameroon keeper smothers the ball at the second attempt.

58 mins: Shay Given backpedals and tips over a looping cross.

52 mins: Ireland's response is immediate. Matt Holland restores parity with a fizzing low drive.
Ireland 1-1 Cameroon

51 mins: Geremi robs Ian Harte, but with Shay Given stranded, he chips wide.

50 mins: Steve Finnan becomes the second Irishman to be cautioned.

49 mins: Ian Harte delivers an accurate cross but Kevin Kilbane's glancing header misses the target.

46 mins: Ireland make a half-time substitution, replacing Jason McAteer with Steve Finnan.

45 mins: Ian Harte's free-kick is almost turned into his own net by Rigobert Song. Alert goalkeeping from Boukar Alioum spares the defender's blushes and maintains Cameroon's lead.

41 mins: A flamboyant effort demonstrates goalscorer Patrick Mboma's confidence. His volley from the edge of the box is high of the target though.

39 mins: Ireland fail to heed the warnings and Samuel Eto'o cuts inside Steve Staunton to pull the back to Patrick Mboma. He slides the ball home from close range to put the Indomitable Lions deservedly ahead.
Ireland 0-1 Cameroon

36 mins: The lively Samuel Eto'o again uses his speed to unhinge the Irish defence, but Gary Beren recovers to take the ball of the Cameroon striker's toe.

32 mins: With the Irish defence disorganised, Samuel Eto'o finds space on the right side on the penalty area, but his volleyed cross drifts harmlessly across the box.

30 mins: Jason McAteer is shown the yellow card for pulling back Salomon Olembe. The resulting free-kick is headed away by Gary Breen.

24 mins: The Irish fans launch into a chorus of "Are you watching Roy Keane?". The banished skipper does not appear to be a crowd favourite.

22 mins: Kevin Kilbane's pin-point centre is met by Robbie Keane, but the striker's header drifts wide of the post. A good chance missed.

19 mins: Shay Given makes an excellent save at the feet of Samuel Eto'o, whose pace creates the first real opportunity of the match.

18 mins: Robbie Keane hits a free-kick straight into the arms of Boukar Alioum.

16 mins: Ireland are settling into their rhythm and Robbie Keane almost gets beyond Raymond Kalla as he chases a through-ball.

13 mins: A good, long ball releases Damien Duff on the left wing but he is crowded out by the Cameroon defence.

11 mins: Shay Given hesitates as the ball loops into the box and makes an uncertain punch clear. The Irish scramble the ball away for a Cameroon corner.

7 mins: Matt Holland makes a strong, but fair, challenge on Marc-Vivien Foe as Ireland try to take control of the midfield.

2 mins: Patrick Mboma's crossfield pass is intercepted by Ian Harte, who heads the ball safely back to goalkeeper Shay Given.

0730 BST: Cameroon get the match underway.

The Irish fans are in particularly strong voice on a warm afternoon in Niigata. Both teams form a huddle ahead of the kick off.

Ireland boss Mick McCarthy has opted for Mark Kinsella to replace Roy Keane, while Jason McAteer has shaken off injury to make the starting line-up. Gary Kelly is at right back in place of Steve Finnan.

Patrick Mboma leads the Cameroon attack, partnered by Real Mallorca's Samuel Eto'o.


Ireland: Shay Given, Gary Kelly, Steve Staunton (capt), Gary Breen, Ian Harte, Jason McAteer, Mark Kinsella, Matt Holland, Kevin Kilbane, Robbie Keane, Damien Duff.

Cameroon: Boukar Alioum, Bill Tchato, Rigobert Song, Raymond Kalla, Pierre Wome, Lauren, Marc-Vivien Foe, Salomon Olembe, Geremi Njitap, Samuel Eto'o, Patrick Mboma.

Referee: T Kamikawa (Japan)


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GROUP E
  P GD PTS
GERMANY 3 +10 7
IRELAND 3 +3 5
CAMEROON 3 -1 4
SAUDI ARABIA 3 -12 0




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