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Cameroon snatched victory in extra time against Brazil, thanks to a goal from their captain Vincent Aboubakar, who was sent off for celebrating shirtless. A victory however insufficient to qualify for the round of 16, due to the success of Switzerland against Serbia (3-2) in the other match.
Failing to qualify, Cameroon will be able to savor the fact of having broken two series: they had never won their third World Cup match in seven appearances, and Brazil had not yet conceded a goal in this World Cup. The victory of the Indomitable Lions on Friday in Doha (1-0) changed all that.
Faced with a Brazil completely overhauled by Tite to rest its executives – nine players had not yet been established before this match – the Indomitable Lions intend to bravely play their luck, even if their destiny is not entirely in their hands. Guided by a Vincent Aboubakar tenured for the first time, the men of Rigobert Song strongly pressed the Brazilians to put them in difficulty.
However, any B team whatsoever, Brazil remain one hell of a piece. He holds on, led by Dani Alves who became the oldest Brazilian ever to line up in the World Cup on Friday evening. The experienced defender, aged 39 years, 6 months and 27 days, thus exceeds the record of Thiago Silva (38 years old) established during Brazil’s first two matches in Qatar. However, he is still far from the absolute record in this area for an outfield player set by… a Cameroonian! Roger Milla was 42 when he last appeared in the premier competition in 1994.
Little by little, the Brazilians, dressed in blue and white, are getting rid of the Cameroonian laundry and imposing their own tempo. At halftime, possession is 70% Brazilian but the chances will have been non-existent.
Epassy in great shape
Two exceptions, one in each camp just before the break: first Martinelli, who transplants in the axis, but Epassy is there to slam the ball above the crossbar (45th + 1). Then Choupo-Moting, who shifts Ngamaleu to the left, whose center finds Mbeumo, forgotten by all. But his pricked head is repelled by Ederson (45th + 3).
On returning from the locker room, Aboubakar almost picked the Seleçao cold. Well found by Mbeumo in the area, the Cameroonian captain crosses his shot too much, which grazes the post of Ederson (51st). Martinelli replies with a shot from the left outside the area, but Epassy is vigilant (57th). Just like on the shooting of Militao (58th). Later, Bruno Guimares misses the target (73rd). Nothing works…
While the stadium is on the verge of falling asleep, it is Vincent Aboubakar who will wake everyone up. Ngom on the right side centers in the area, and finds the top scorer of CAN-2022, who deceives Ederson with a header (90th + 2). Foolishly, the Cameroonian is sent off for a second yellow card, after removing his jersey to celebrate his goal. In the dying minutes, Brazil pushed but did not come back.
But the snatch victory of the Indomitable Lions does not change the final outcome. The victory of Switzerland in the other match condemned them anyway to return to the lair no matter what. When in Brazil, he just deprived himself of the pleasure of being the only nation to chain three victories. Unless this is just another proof that “the level is tightening and that there are no more small teams”, as the jargon of players and coaches repeat over and over again.
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