Today’s set of results in Group E at the World Cup means that the Netherlands are guaranteed a place in the Last 16, and that Cameroon will be eliminated from the competition regardless of the result in their final game. For UFWC fans, this means that the final match in Group E will decide whether or not the UFWC title will be taken into the knockout stages or not.
The Netherlands seem unstoppable in their reign as UFWC champions, having held the title for an incredible 19 months and defended the title 17 times, three short of the record of 20 defences held by Scotland. Not only is their UFWC record to be praised, they have won both of their World Cup matches having conceded no goals in the process. Although there is reason to think that coach Bert Van Marwijk may rest players in preparation for the Knockout Stages it is unlikely that the team will be too decreased, as top youngster Eljero Elia may get an extended appearance, and the coach may want Arjen Robben to get some match time having missed the two previous World Cup matches through injury.
Cameroon will be wishing to have the Netherlands’ problems. The Indomitable Lions have failed to live up to their nickname of late, having lost their last 4 matches, and having failed to win any of their last 9. Their UFWC record is respectable, however. Although they have never won the title, in their two previous title matches they held then-champions Peru and France to a draw each. However, two consecutive defeats at the World Cup means that their fate is already sealed, so the question is which attitude will they take into the match? Will they decide enough is enough and fold at the first sign of a Dutch attack, or will they fight to give their fans something to cheer? That is for the players to decide.
The Netherlands are 1/6 to retain the title, while Cameroon are 7/2 to win it for the first time.
If the Netherlands defend the title they will finish top of Group E, setting up a Second Round match with the runners-up of Group F on June 28th. If Cameroon become UFWC champion their next match is scheduled to be against Mauritius in the Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers.