With Cameroon making an early exit from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Alex Song regrets his questionable and childish outburst.
The Barcelona and former Arsenal defender was issued a red card after punching Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic in the back in the 40th minute of Cameroon’s 4-0 loss on Wednesday.
More of a stiff elbow delivered between Mandzukic’s shoulder blades that one would see from a heel during a pro wrestling match, Song gave referee Pedro Proenca no choice but to send him off. The unsportsmanlike play was well away from the ball and blatant.
Song left the field, and Cameroon’s chances of moving beyond the group stage for the first time since 1990 melted away.
The 26-year-old later apologized and asked for forgiveness, but it was too little too late.
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"I'm very sad at the moment as I feel I have let my country and myself down,” Song said in a statement. "It was a stupid moment and I'm truly sorry. If I could do anything to take it back I would. Please forgive me."
At that point Cameroon couldn’t form any semblance of an attack against Vatreni, but were only down 1-0 and could have sparked a comeback with their overwhelming athletic advantage later in the match. This World Cup may best be remembered for the number of come-from-behind victories, with six so far, but Cameroon failed to make the list.
Les Indomitable Lions played with 10 men the rest of the way, and Croatia took full advantage for three more goals, including a brace by Bayern Munich star Mandzukic. The score could have been far more one-sided, as the Croats missed several easy opportunities.
It was the second straight loss for Cameroon after falling to Mexico 1-0 in the opener, and they can only play the role of spoiler against Brazil next week in their final Group A match.