Thu, 09 Feb 2023

Cameroon stun Brazil but exit World Cup

Xinhua
03 Dec 2022, 10:18 GMT+10

© Provided by Xinhua

Cameroon became the first African team to beat Brazil at the World Cup, but still failed to reach the knockout stage.

LUSAIL, Qatar, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Vincent Aboubakar scored late as Cameroon secured a shock 1-0 victory over Brazil in their final World Cup Group G match on Friday, but the result was not enough to prevent the African side's elimination.

Aboubakar sent a header past goalkeeper Ederson after Jerome Ngom Mbekeli's perfectly weighted cross in the 92nd minute as the Indomitable Lions became the first African team to beat Brazil at the World Cup.

The victory left Cameroon with four points from their three group matches, two points behind Switzerland. Brazil finished top of the group, having won their first two games against Serbia and Switzerland.

The five-time world champions will face South Korea in the round of 16 at Stadium 974 on Monday.

Brazil went into the fixture at Lusail Stadium having won each of their past nine games by a combined score of 29-2.

© Provided by Xinhua

Head coach Tite made nine changes to the team that beat Switzerland 1-0 in their last outing. Among the inclusions was Dani Alves, who wore the captain's armband as he became Brazil's oldest player to take part in a World Cup fixture at the age of 39.

Cameroon manager Rigobert Song brought in five players to the side that drew 3-3 with Serbia on Monday. Aboubakar replaced Karl Toko Ekambi while Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Bryan Mbeumo and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa started.

Brazil had not allowed a single attempt on target this tournament and they again showed their frugality in the early stages here.

While Cameroon struggled to find openings, Brazil moved the ball with fluency. Real Madrid forward Rodrygo relished his role as a free-roaming attacking playmaker in the absence of injured Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar.

The 21-year-old twice won free-kicks near the edge of the box after his dashing runs from deep positions drew cynical challenges from Cameroon's defenders.

Gabriel Martinelli was also making the most of his opportunity. The Arsenal forward forced a pair of finger-tip saves from Devis Epassy, first with a header and then with a rasping effort after surging into the box.

© Provided by Xinhua

Cameroon grew in stature late in the first half as they began attacking with purpose. Mbeumo provided a nervous moment for the South American side's defense on the stroke of halftime when his downward header was acrobatically palmed away by Ederson. It was the first shot on target against Brazil in more than 225 minutes at this World Cup.

Martinelli continued to cause problems for Cameroon's backline after the interval. The Corinthians youth academy graduate sprinted into acres of space on the counterattack, but his powerful drive was once more kept out by a full-length Epassy save.

Brazil were in a menacing mood despite being unable to transfer their dominance to the scoreboard. Eder Militao looked to have finally breached the African team's defense when Epassy failed to grasp his scrambled effort, but the French-born shot-stopper swiped the ball off the line at his second attempt.

© Provided by Xinhua

Cameroon refused to surrender and Ederson had to dive low to deny Olivier Ntcham after smart work from Toko Ekambi.

Aboubakar sparked wild celebrations shortly after, timing his run to perfection and making sweet contact with his header to leave Ederson with no chance.

Song's men had to endure a nervous finale, having been reduced to 10 men after Aboubakar was shown a second yellow card for removing his shirt in his goal celebration.

Bruno Guimaraes, a 54th-minute substitute for Fred, had two chances to equalize in the last five minutes. The Newcastle United midfielder saw his dangerous header saved by Epassy and then blasted over the crossbar after Martinelli chested down a Marquinhos cross.

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