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(Reuters) – Following is a statbox on Cameroon at the World Cup:

FIFA Ranking: 43

Odds: 250-1

Previous tournaments:

Cameroon have competed at more World Cups than any African country, starting in Spain in 1982 when they achieved the rare feat of being unbeaten in their three group games but failed to reach the next stage. On their second appearance in 1990, they became the first African country to make the quarter-finals on a heady run led by 38-year-old striker Roger Milla. They beat holders Argentina in the opening game of the tournament in Milan and then Romania before ousting Colombia in the last 16 but were eliminated by England after extra time. However, in five subsequent World Cup appearances they have won only once – against Saudi Arabia in Japan 20 years ago.

How they qualified:

The Indomitable Lions had among the toughest qualifying paths and, although they stumbled and stuttered, grabbed a dramatic winner minutes from the end of the campaign to book a place in Qatar. Cameroon had been drawn with Ivory Coast in the group phase of qualifying with only the group winners advancing to the playoffs and edged their rivals by a point. In the playoffs they looked dead and buried after losing at home to Algeria but in the return leg in north Africa won 2-1, with Karl Toko Ekambi scoring the winner four minutes into stoppage time at the end of extra time to go through on away goals.

Form guide:

Cameroon lost two friendlies on a long trip to South Korea in September and have drawn much criticism for their performances from pundits at home. Defeat by Uzbekistan and South Korea did not sit well with the fans. Cameroon will go to the World Cup decidedly ill-prepared in comparison to some of the teams they will face in Group G, having played only three internationals since qualying in March. In June, they narrowly edged tiny Burundi in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier but their other match against Kenya was cancelled when their opponents were kicked out of the tournament.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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