KUFSTEIN, Austria (AP) ― Cameroon slumped to a 2-1 defeat against Paraguay after resting several leading players in a World Cup warm-up game on Thursday.
Midfielder Oscar Romero put Paraguay ahead in the fourth minute and Roque Santa Cruz added a second in the 68th.
Maxim Choupo-Moting pulled a goal back for Cameroon with 75th minute volley and striker Mohammadou Idrissou missed a chance to equalize in the 87th when his penalty was saved by Paraguay goalkeeper Roberto Junior Fernandez.
|Cameroon’s midfielder Edgar Salli (left) vies for the ball with Paraguay’s defender Danilo Ortiz at the Kufstein Arena Stadium in Kufstein, Austria, Thursday (AFP-Yonhap)|
Cameroon coach Volker Finke, who has to cut his 28-man squad to 23 by Monday, left several regular starters out of the team for most of the game.
One of the key players missing was Pierre Webo, who hurt his left shoulder as he landed after an acrobatic bicycle kick that earned Cameroon the opening goal in its 2-0 win over Macedonia on Monday.
Webo later tweeted medical examinations had shown no severe injuries.
Cameroon dominated possession but lacked pace and accuracy to create chances until the final 20 minutes.
Romero put Paraguay in front when he converted a low cross by Ramon Coronel.
Just seconds after coming on for Romero, substitute David Mendieta had a goal disallowed for offside when he rounded off a smooth Paraguay counterattack in the 66th.
Santa Cruz doubled the lead two minutes later with a subtle touch past Cameroon goalkeeper Charles Itandje off a Junior Alonso pass.
Choupo-Moting brought Cameroon back into the game but Idrissou failed to capitalize on the spot-kick after defender Gustavo Gomez had brought down Benjamin Moukandjo in the area.
Paraguay earned only a second win from its last 10 matches. The South Americans were quarterfinalists at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa but failed to qualify for this year’s tournament.
Cameroon, which is in Group A with Mexico, Croatia and host Brazil, continues its buildup against Germany in Moenchengladbach on Sunday, while Paraguay will take on France in Nice the same day.