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11 June 1998 Group B Toulouse - Stadium Municipal
Cameroon Austria
This Group B game between Cameroon and Austria burst into life in the last 30 minutes after the two sides had cancelled each other out for the first hour in the Stade Municipal in Toulouse. Toni Polster's late, late goal earned his side a valuable point just as the Lions of Africa were preparing to celebrate victory after Njanka's breathtaking individual 77th-minute goal. Both sides fielded similar formations with three central defenders, two wing-backs, three across the middle and two up front resulting in a dour midfield stalemate with any noteworthy action coming from long-range efforts. The only real highlight of a disappointing first 45 minutes came from Pierre Wome's swerving 25-yard free-kick after 32 minutes that was pushed around the post by Michael Konsel in the Austria goal. After the break the pattern was much the same with Wome again testing Konsel from distance before Polster and Heimo Pfeifenberger saw similar efforts flamboyantly saved by Cameroon 'keeper Jacques Songo'o. However, the game opened up in dramatic fashion as both sides threw caution to the wind in search of all three points and the first moment of real quality came from the unlikely source of central defender Pierre Njanka with his wonderful solo effort. That goal, worthy of winning the World Cup Final itself, looked to have settled the contest until up popped the veteran Toni Polster to blast home his side's saving equaliser. The result now means that all four teams in Group B are level on one point after a game each following Italy and Chile's 2-2 draw in Bordeaux earlier today.

(1-0) Njanka (77). The big defender picked up a loose ball on the halfway line and surged into the Austrian half where he superbly side-stepped Feiersinger before cutting inside Schottel onto his right foot to fire high past Konsel from 12 yards for an early goal of the tournament contender.

(1-1) Polster (90). Feiersinger's right-wing corner was nodded on by Pfeffer and the veteran Austrian marksman chested the ball down before hammering home a ferocious right-footed shot into Songo'o's top right-hand corner from eight yards.

 
 
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Page created by Christakis Ioannou on Friday, 12 June 1998
 
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