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World Cup Preview: Ireland vs. Cameroon
May 31st, 2002 12AM

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Saturday, June 1 in Niigata (2:30 am ET) Group D: IRELAND (0-0-0, 0 pts.) vs. CAMEROON (0-0-0, 0 pts.) (TV: Live, Univision, 2:30 am ET; Delay, ABC, 3:30 pm ET/PT; Tape, Telefutura, 10 am ET/PT) The pressure will be on Irish coach Mick McCarthy, who kicked star Roy Keane off the team on the eve of the tournament. Matt Holland takes over for Keane in the Irish midfield alongside Jason McAteer, Mark Kinsella and Kevin Kilbane, who have been nursing injuries. The loss of Keane is a big one. Ireland has potentially it's best team in history with youngsters Robbie Keane and Damien Duff providing firepower it lacked in the past. Cameroon got its usual money problems squared away before the Lions arrived in Asia --- their arrival was delayed by four days after the players refused to board their plane in Paris until their World Cup money was paid. The big concern for the Lions has been the fitness of striker Patrick Mboma. The 2000 African Player of the Year almost didn't come because of lingering injury problems but played 77 minutes in the Lions' recent friendly with England. PROBABLE LINEUPS: Ireland -- 1 Given, 2 Finnan, 4 Cunningham, 5 Staunton, 3 Harte, 7 McAteer, 8 Holland, 12 Kinsella, 11 Kilbane, 10 Robbie Keane, 9 Duff. Cameroon -- 1 Alioum, 2 Tchato, 4 Song, 5 Kalla, 8 Geremi, 3 Wome, 7 Foe, 12 Lauren, 20 Olembe, 9 Eto'o, 10 Mboma. REFEREE: Toru Kamikawa (Japan). SUSPENSIONS: None. NUMBER: 0 The number of Irish and Cameroonian players who play their club ball in their respective countries.


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