Updated: Thursday, 19 June 2014 05:48 | By Agence France-Presse

Eto'o out for Cameroon, Mandzukic back for Croatia

Cameroon captain Samuel Eto'o sat out his side's World Cup clash against Croatia in Manaus on Wednesday having finally succumbed to a knee injury.


Eto'o out for Cameroon, Mandzukic back for Croatia

Cameroon's forward Samuel Eto'o warms up before the Group A football match between Cameroon and Croatia in the Amazonia Arena in Manaus during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 18, 2014 - by Pierre-Philippe Marcou

Having initially claimed he needed a 'miracle' to play, the 33-year-old forward, who is out of contract at Chelsea after the World Cup, failed to make the starting line-up for the Group A clash.

Eto'o had played a game of cat-and-mouse with the media in the match build up by ruling himself out, then hinting he might be involved.

In his place, Besiktas Dany Nkoulou captain Cameroon.

Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic returned to the Croatia line-up having missed their opening defeat to hosts Brazil with suspension for a red card he picked up against Iceland back in November.

Cameroon need to bounce back in tropical Manaus after their opening 1-0 defeat to Mexico in the wake of a pre-World Cup row over bonuses before heading to Brazil.

The players deliberately missing their original flight until a compromise was found with the government.

Teams

Cameroon

Charles Itandje, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Dany Nkoulou (capt), Alexandre Song, Benjamin Moukandjo, Vincent Aboubakar, Eric Choupo- Moting, Aurelien Chedjou, Stephane Mbia, Enoh Eyong, Joel Matip

Coach: Trainer: Volker Finke (GER)

Croatia

Stipe Pletikosa, Danijel Pranjic, Ivan Perisic, Vedran Corluka, Dedjan Lovren, Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric, Darijo Srna (capt), Mario Mandzukic, Ivica Olic, Sammir

Coach: Niko Kovac (CRO)

Referee: Pedro Proenca (POR)

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