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His work done, Peralta was taken off in the 74th minute for Hernandez, who nearly doubled Mexico’s lead minutes later. But Hernandez misfired a volley and sent it over the net. While a tough shot, the miss punctuated Hernandez‘ scoring drought. Peralta, on the other hand, is growing in confidence and keen to add to the gold medal he picked up with Mexico at the London Olympics.

“I want to score as many goals as possible,” Peralta said, “to take advantage of every opportunity that I get because I want to be a world champion again.”

Cameroon seldom tested Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa until forcing him to make a late victory-clinching save with a dive to his left to stop a header by Benjamin Moukandjo.

The save was yet another big payoff for Herrera, who started Ochoa after the ‘keeper had been a reserve at the last two World Cups.

At the final whistle, Herrera kneeled, crossed himself and pumped his right fist. Cameroon coach Volker Finke stood with his arms crossed, scowling as the rain dripped off his face.

For Cameroon, the lackluster performance will only magnify controversies back home over a player bonus pay dispute that delayed their arrival in Brazil, and will raise more questions about whether they’re a fractured team.

The loss also leaves Cameroon needing a victory over group rival Croatia before closing first-round play against Brazil.

“We have five days to recover,” Finke said. “We will analyze this together because the match against Croatia is very important if we want to stay alive”.