SALZBURG - Cameroon held Russia
to a 0-0 draw and almost won with a late header that hit the
post in a friendly in the Alpine city of Salzburg on Tuesday.
Cameroon's Aurelien Chedjou's struck the woodwork towards
the end of a largely uneventful match which was interrupted with
two minutes remaining when several fans ran onto the pitch.
The Indomitable Lions were licking their wounds after a
goalless draw against visiting Senegal on Saturday left their
African Nations Cup qualifying hopes hanging by a thread.
Russia, meanwhile, had enjoyed a 3-1 win over Armenia in a
Euro 2012 qualifier at the weekend that kept them level on
points with the leaders in their group.
Russia's Dutch coach Dick Advocaat made wholesale changes
from Saturday's match, giving several players their debuts, and
his side looked livelier in a first half played in pouring rain.
Russia striker Pavel Pogrebnyak sent a low close-range shot
wide early on and Alan Dzagoyev also missed the target from the
edge of the box midway through the half.
But the African team came alive towards the end of the game,
creating several chances of their own.
Pierre Webo, who replaced captain Samuel Eto'o at half-time,
saw his powerful header tipped over by Russia's second-choice
goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeyev while Chedjou's header hit the
post less than a minute later.
"We had a few chances and should have won this game,"
Advocaat said. "But I have to be satisfied with our effort."
There had been some light relief when one of the intruders
who ran on to the pitch kicked a ball in the Cameroon goal to
the amusement of the players, fans and Austrian referee Thomas
Einwaller before they left the arena with no security in sight.
It was the first game between the two countries since Russia
thrashed Cameroon 6-1 in the 1994 World Cup when striker Oleg
Salenko set a record with five goals in a match at the finals.
Cameroon have had a turbulent week with fans rioting after
Saturday's home draw with Senegal in which Eto'o missed an 87th
minute penalty all but dashing their hopes of qualifying.
Three years ago, Salzburg was the scene of much happier
memories for Russia, who beat European champions Greece 1-0 in a
group match on their way to the Euro 2008 semi-finals.
Tuesday's game had a totally different atmosphere as
Russia's disappointing friendly results continued after a 2-0
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