International Friendly Preview: Cameroon v Moldova
By Football News
Cameroon bring their FIFA World Cup preparations to a close with a friendly against Moldova on Saturday.
The African nation are bidding to improve on their showing at the 2010 event in South Africa, where they lost every match and crashed out at the group stage.
Worryingly for Cameroon, they have not beaten any of the 31 other 2014 World Cup entrants since a 1-0 victory over Ghana in February 2008, so will need to be at the top of their game when they kick off their campaign against Mexico a week on Friday.
However, a 2-2 draw in Germany last time out showed the side are capable of an upset, and striker Stephane M'Bia is determined to use the Moldova fixture as a springboard to a successful tournament in Brazil.
"We did not leave a good impression in South Africa when we lost all three matches," he told African Football Media. "There was not a good atmosphere in the team at that time.
"But it is different this time around. There is a good atmosphere.
"More than half of the players invited to the World Cup training camp in Austria in May already played in South Africa.
"We've all grown older, more mature and experienced.
"It is our ambition to go through to the knock-out stage. It is important not to lose the first game, because it can determine a lot of things."
Moldova have never qualified for the World Cup as an independent nation, but could register their longest unbeaten run since 2009 if they avoid defeat this weekend.
Ion Caras' men followed up convincing victories over Andorra and Saudi Arabia with a 1-1 draw against Canada last month, and will be keen to prove themselves against stiffer opposition in the shape of Cameroon.
This fixture is unlikely to offer too many clues as to Cameroon's World Cup plans, but it will offer them the chance to build some momentum ahead of their tournament curtain-raiser.