Cameroon goalkeeper Hamidou Souleymanou has admitted they missed a 'golden opportunity' after being beaten by Japan.
The Indomitable Lions suffered a 1-0 reverse in their opening Group E match in Bloemfontein on Monday and now face an uphill battle to qualify for the knockout stages.
Paul Le Guen's men now face testing encounters against Holland and Denmark, with the Danes next on the agenda on Saturday evening in Tshwane.
With Denmark having suffered a 2-0 defeat to the Dutch in their opener, both teams know another defeat would leave them on the brink of elimination.
And Souleymanou has called on his team-mates to knuckle down and focus all their energies on the coming match.
"We lost a golden opportunity. It was like throwing away a joker in a game of cards," he said.
"The only thing left for us now is reviving our fighting spirit and working hard, seriously, to win the next game."
Midfielder Enoh Eyong knows Cameroon can ill-afford another reverse and has admitted they are already drinking in the last-chance saloon.
"There is only one way out for us - victory," he said. "We have to put more firepower in the next game.
"It is like a final for us because if we don't get the best of it, we're finished."