Pedigree Cameroon has, impressively, missed out on only one World Cup since 1990, but its presence in Qatar was a close-run thing. As late as the 118th minute of the second leg of its playoff against Algeria, Cameroon was out, right up until the 124th minute, when Karl Toko Ekambi scored the goal that changed everything.

The Star The career of Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting is impossibly curious. An also-ran at Stoke City, a middling sort of Premier League club a decade ago, he has since played for both Paris St.-Germain and Bayern Munich, where he appears to have turned into the natural heir to Robert Lewandowski.

Ambition Under Rigobert Song, a totemic former player turned inspirational coach, Cameroon finished third at this year’s African Cup of Nations — only a penalty shootout defeat to Egypt cost it a final on home soil — and will believe it can leave Qatar as the best of the African contingent.

Full squad list.

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