Cameroon prove too much for World Cup debutant Ecuador

Cameroon cruised past an overmatched Ecuador 6-0 to open Women’s World Cup Group C play in Vancouver on Monday, Gaelle Enganamouit scoring a hat trick as the winners were awarded three penalties in a one-sided match that allowed Cameroon to showcase some of their attacking potential.

Madeleine Ngono Mani, Christine Manie and Gabrielle Onguene also tallied for the winners, who took their foot off the gas in the second half after opening a 3-0 lead at the interval against a South American team which offered little in the way of dangerous resistance.

Defending champion Japan face Switzerland in the second game of the BC Place double bill.

The Africans were in charge from the start against a team which won a playoff against Trinidad & Tobago to get the final spot in the 24-nation field. Even with some early stellar work from Ecuador keeper Shirley Berruz it was only a matter of time before Cameroon would break through.

There were several near misses before Ngono Mani collected a rebound from ever-dangerous Enganamouit in the 34th minute to break the deadlock. It was Enganamouit two minutes later to make it 2-0 while a penalty from Manie a minute before the interval made the scoreline reflect Cameroon’s dominance. Teenager Kerrly Real, just 16 years old, fouled Onguene to give away the spot kick.

Ecuador had little possession and was unable to lift the pressure as Cameroon controlled midfield and was comfortable on the ball when attacking. Enganamouit, a 22-year old striker, was able to create chances almost at will, having some efforts blocked before she finally got the goals she deserved.

Although Ecuador showed a bit more energy at the start of the second half, they were reduced to 10 players in the 67th minute when Ligia Moreira saw direct red for a last-player tackle that denied Cameroon a scoring chance just outside the box.

Enganamouit’s second was a simple tap in to an open net against the 10-player defense as Ecuador was cut wide open by a counter attacking run in the 73rd minute. Onguene’s penalty came shortly thereafter although the match had been well-decided much earlier. Enganamouit completed her hat trick in stoppage time from the third Cameroon penalty award of the night.

Cameroon will return to action Friday against Japan while Ecuador faces Switzerland the same day.