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Saturday, 6 April, 2002, 08:24 GMT 09:24 UK
Volatile Lions make quick impression
Cameroon's Omam Biyik scores to defeat Argentina in the 1990 World Cup
Biyik headed Cameroon to a famous win over Argentina
Cameroon have made their mark in the World Cup in a short space of time.

Only participating in qualification since 1970, their rapid development has taken them to a quarter-final and a couple of stunning results.

Cameroon have also made their presence known physically.

Holders of the second-worst disciplinary record in the World Cup - jointly with Uruguay, Cameroon have picked up six red cards in just four finals.

Cameroon's World Cup stats
Played - 14
Won - 3
Drawn - 6
Lost - 5
Goals scored - 13
Goals conceded - 26

Brazil and Argentina are the only sides with a poorer record, with eight dismissals each.

However, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay have amassed 37 World Cup finals tournaments between them.

But one of Cameroon's greatest World Cup moments was achieved despite a display of reckless tackling that has contributed to their record.

In 1990, Cameroon faced the World Cup holders Argentina in the opening match of the tournament at the San Siro stadium in Milan.

Victory for Diego Maradona's side was widely considered a foregone conclusion.

And Cameroon's chances were hindered by the dismissal of two of their players during the course of the match.

Cameroon fell to England in the quarter-finals
Cameroon narrowly lost out to England in 1990

But a goal from Omam Biyik shocked the world champions as the nine-man team from Africa held on to win 1-0 and record one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history.

They reached the last eight that year; eventually going down 3-2 to England in a closely-fought encounter that went to extra time.

It had been a superb performance by Cameroon, who had qualified for the finals just once before - in 1982.

That performance was the best ever by an African nation at a World Cup and is in no small part responsible for the fact that Africa today have five entries to the 32-team tournament.

In 1990, a blend of youthful exuberance, which may account for the frequency their players have seen red, and experience had got them there.

Roger Milla embodied all of the know-how - he was 38 years-old when he played for his country in 1990.

Cameroon's World Cup stats
Biggest win - 2-1 v Romania, Colombia in 1990
Biggest defeat - 1-6 v Russia in 1994
Top scorer - Roger Milla - 5 goals
Most appearances - Francois Omam-Biyick - 11 matches

He remains not only the oldest player in the World Cup, but the oldest scorer too.

Milla was 42-years-old when he scored against Russia in 1994.

Cameroon also distinguished themselves in their first World Cup, earning a creditable 1-1 draw against Italy in 1984 before exiting the competition at the first round stage.

Unfortunately for Cameroon, their last two World Cups in 1994 and 1998 have ended similarly, unable to repeat the success of 12 years ago.

Political and financial wrangles, as well as a plethora of different coaches, have not helped matters.

But despite that, the Indomitable Lions have won the last two African Nations Cups and Olympic gold in Sydney in 2000.

Talented, yet unpredictable, they could be their own worst enemy when it comes to the difference between glory and failure in the Far East.

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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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