- Cameroon and Australia lost their opening matches
- Both coaches have been injecting fresh blood into their squads
- Thursday’s match will be the first ever between the teams
Cameroon and Australia knew they faced a tall order when they were drawn in the same group as Germany and Chile. They also knew that their best hope of scoring a win would come in the match between them, a game that will take place in Saint Petersburg on Thursday, with both sides having lost their opening encounters of the tournament.
FIFA.com team reporter analysis
Pascal de Miramon with Cameroon
“Disappointed with the result but satisfied with the performance.” That was Cameroon coach Hugo Broos’ reaction to his side’s opening match against Chile, an indication that he will largely stick with the same starting line-up against the Socceroos. With their first-night nerves now behind them, the Cameroonians can be expected to give a better account of themselves, especially against a side that likes to come out and play. Following a subdued performance against the Chileans, Christian Bassogog – the player of the tournament at the 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations – will be keen to shine on the right flank, a part of the pitch under-explored by the Africans in the defeat to La Roja.
Pete Smith with Australia
Australia go into their first ever international meeting with Cameroon after a mixed performance against Germany. One thing that will not change, however, is their pro-active and positive mindset. The Socceroos will have marked two key problem areas from the Germany match – conceding early goals and retaining possession. In the latter respect, coach Ange Postecoglou will be looking for more from ace midfielder Aaron Mooy.
What you need to know
Cameroon will be without Ambroise Oyongo, who had an outstanding Africa Cup of Nations. Unfortunately for them, the influential left-back picked up an injury in the 1-0 defeat of Morocco in a 2019 continental finals qualifier played just before they set off for Russia, and has not been replaced. Oyongo turns 26 on Thursday and his 22 squad-mates will hope to give him the best possible birthday present.
Australia have now lost four FIFA Confederations Cup matches in a row, having failed to collect a point in their three group matches on their last appearance at the tournament, at Germany 2005. The Socceroos are one defeat away from equalling Saudi Arabia’s five on the trot, but still some way behind New Zealand's eight. Should they beat Cameroon, it will be their first win in the competition since overcoming Brazil in the match for third place in 2001.
A late substitute against Germany, Australia’s Tim Cahill could well bring the experience he has acquired in 98 international appearances to bear against the Indomitable Lions. The scorer of 48 goals for his country to date, Cahill will be 37 years and 198 days old on Thursday and will become the second-oldest goalscorer in the history of the competition should he find the back of the net against Cameroon. The grandfather of them all is former Germany midfielder Lothar Matthaus, who was 38 years and 129 days old when he scored against New Zealand in 1999.
Cameroon: Fabrice Ondoa; Ernest Mabouka, Adolphe Teikeu, Michael Ngadeu Ngadjui, Collins Fai; Sebastien Siani, Arnaud Djoum, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa; Christian Bassogog, Vincent Aboubakar, Benjamin Moukandjo
Australia: Mat Ryan; Bailey Wright, Milos Degenek, Trent Sainsbury; Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Aziz Behich, Jackson Irvine, Tom Rogic, Mathew Leckie; Tomi Juric.