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Cameroon stun Brazil but go out of World Cup

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  • Aboubakar connected with a cross from substitute Jerome Ngom Mbekeli to break the deadlock in the 92nd minute at Doha’s Lusail Stadium.
  • He was booked for removing his shirt in the wild celebrations that followed and, having already been cautioned, had to leave his teammates to see out the remainder of the game
Cameroon stun Brazil but go out of World Cup
Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Group G – Cameroon v Brazil – Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar – December 2, 2022 Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubakar celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Vincent
Aboubakar headed in a stoppage-time winner and was then sent off as Cameroon
claimed a memorable 1-0 victory over favourites Brazil at the World Cup on
Friday, but still failed to go through to the last 16.

Aboubakar,
who had come in to captain Rigobert Song’s team, connected with a cross from
substitute Jerome Ngom Mbekeli to break the deadlock in the 92nd minute at
Doha’s Lusail Stadium.

He was
booked for removing his shirt in the wild celebrations that followed and, having
already been cautioned, had to leave his teammates to see out the remainder of
the game.

They did so
to record a famous win but Switzerland’s 3-2 win over Serbia at the same time
meant the Swiss advanced from Group G along with already-qualified Brazil.

Having won
their first two matches in Qatar, Brazil topped the group and advance to a last-16
tie against South Korea when their many key players who were rested for this
game will return.

Coach Tite
sent out a second-string side and the result was Brazil’s first defeat in the
group stage of a World Cup since 1998, when they were beaten by Norway.

Martinelli
impresses

Tite’s mind
was on the knockout stage here as he made nine changes, including handing a
start to 39-year-old Dani Alves, making him Brazil’s oldest ever men’s
international player.

The spine of
Brazil’s second-string side still featured Manchester City’s Ederson in goal,
Real Madrid’s Eder Militao in central defence, Fabinho of Liverpool in
midfield, and Gabriel Jesus of Arsenal supported by Rodrygo up front.

They also
had the 21-year-old Gabriel Martinelli on the left and the Arsenal prospect was
their standout performer.

He almost
scored the opening goal in the 14th minute when he leapt unmarked but saw his
header tipped over by Cameroon ‘keeper Devis Epassy. Martinelli also threatened
in first-half stoppage time with a dribble across the edge of the area and a
shot that Epassy turned behind.

It was a
piece of play reminiscent of Neymar, who is still recovering from the sprained
ankle that forced him off in the opening 2-0 win over Serbia but watched the
action here from just behind the Brazilian bench.

The Brazil
fans, who unfurled a banner with a “Get Well Soon” message for Pele,
cheered loudly when Neymar appeared on screens inside the enormous stadium.

Needing a
win, Cameroon almost went in front in first-half stoppage time when a Bryan
Mbeumo header foced a flying save from Ederson.

Brazil had
won all seven previous meetings with African opponents at the World Cup,
including beating Cameroon in 1994 and again in 2014, and Martinelli was their
most likely source of a goal.

He forced
Epassy to tip over another strike that was arcing towards the top corner early
in the second half, and the Cameroon shot-stopper – continuing in place of
Andre Onana who was dropped for unspecified disciplinary reasons – turned a
Militao shot around the post moments later.

Eager to
study all his attacking options, Tite sent on the Flamengo duo of Everton
Ribeiro and Pedro, but he also saw Alex Telles come off hurt in the second
half.

Telles is
the third Brazil full-back to succumb to injury at the tournament after Danilo
and Alex Sandro.

At this rate
Alves, a year short of his 40th birthday, will have a further role to play in
Qatar.

Most
importantly Brazil will hope to have Neymar back soon but it remains to be seen
if he will feature against South Korea on Monday.

Aboubakar
grabbed the late winner just when a goalless draw looked the most likely
outcome, and Cameroon deserve huge credit for taking four points from such a
difficult group even if they now go home.

©Citizen Digital, Kenya



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