With each team needing a win to keep alive its hopes of advancing at the World Cup, Croatia got a boost from a key reinforcement while Cameroon couldn't even keep a full team on the field.
Striker Mario Mandzukic scored a pair of second-half goals as Croatia dominated Cameroon in a 4-0 rout at Arena Amazonia in Manaus on Wednesday to remain in contention in Group A. In addition to contributing a brace, Mandzukic, who missed the team's opener after being sent off during a World Cup qualifying playoff, was on the receiving end of an elbow that resulted in a red card for Cameroon.
Croatia already led 1-0 when Cameroon midfielder Alex Song inexplicably took a swing at Mandzukic in the 40th minute and would only tighten its grip on the match while playing against 10 men. The loss eliminates Cameroon from contention and sets up a high stakes clash between Croatia and Mexico on the final day action in Group A.
While Brazil, who tops the group on goal differential, faces winless Cameroon on June 23, Croatia will face Mexico with a chance to secure a spot in the Round of 16.