An elimination Wednesday at the World Cup concluded with Croatia's 4-0 beat-down of Cameroon, which began the match minus its most acclaimed player and ended it without perhaps the next one.
Cameroon can commiserate with Spain and Australia. All fell to 0-2, with no hope of extending their stay in Brazil beyond a remaining game in group play.
The Indomitable Lions were weakened by the absence of captain and prolific scorer Samuel Eto'o (knee injury). They spotted Croatia an early goal yet remained in contention until a lapse in judgment by midfielder Alex Song that rivaled Pepe's in Portugal's lopsided loss Monday.
Song cocked his arm and drove it into the back of Mario Mandzukic while the two were in full sprint -- and in full view of the referee. The resulting red card in the 40th minute snuffed out any chance for Cameroon, same as Pepe's ejection did against Germany.
Mandzukic recovered from the blow to score twice in the latter half. Ivan Perisic, who assisted on the first goal by Ivica Olic, finished off the second one.
The round of 16 has come into view for Croatia, which has three points. A win over Mexico, with four, will do it. Brazil, also with four, figures to bump up its total against Cameroon, which faces a manpower and motivation shortage without Song and probably Eto'o.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times