Brazil suffered a shock World Cup defeat to Cameroon – but too little too late for the African side

Cameroon 1-0 Brazil: Vincent Aboubakar stunned the tournament favorites with a stoppage-time header but it wasn't enough for the Indomitable Lions to qualify

That wasn't all that surprising in 1990 but, 32 years after they opened the World Cup by beating Argentina, Cameroon were knocked out of this tournament by beating another South American superpower. Unlike in 1990, there would be no jump to the knockout stage, as the overwhelming result went down the drain. It was Switzerland who accompanied Brazil into the last 16, their first group stage defeat since 1998 not being enough to prevent the Selecao from topping their group for an 11th successive World Cup and setting up a last 16 clash with South Korea. Tite may view the loss of that unbeaten streak as a valuable trade-off for the opportunity to rest his main players.

But if it does get upset, what it means is that it's doomed to a stalemate until an ordinary match has an extraordinary conclusion. Karl Toko Ekambi's cross, Vincent Aboubakar met it with a superb header past Ederson. After his stunning goal against Serbia it was another brilliant finish, but it brought his tournament to a somewhat premature conclusion.

The Cameroon captain took off his shirt and held it up to the crowd in celebration. The American referee, who was pleased with Ismail Elfath's card, followed the rules and gave him a second yellow card.

However there was no second celebration at the final whistle, Aboubakar and his team-mates ended up on the pitch in contemplation rather than joy as confirmation of a Swiss win meant they were out. Cameroon came to Lusail with a dismal World Cup record, with one point from their previous nine matches, and they recorded their first win since 2002 and beat the tournament favorites.

But that's not enough. Brazil lost at this stage for the first time since Dani Alves was just 15 and, on the eve the 39-year-old became their oldest player in a World Cup, that was no problem.

On a night when Brazil had 21 shots, and substitute Bruno Guimaraes was missing two substitutes, on either side of Cameroon's goal, the situation could have been very different. That extravagance could cost them in future matches. The Selecao tend to be a byword for talent but their group stage return was a disappointing three goals and as they prioritize freshness too many of their fringe players fail to stake a claim to step in.

Tite made nine changes, with only Fred and Eder Militao keeping his ground. The midfielder was duly dismissed with 35 minutes remaining, which felt a hint. The same goes for other substitutions.

If Neymar's absence leaves a void in the first-choice frontline, here are the auditions to fill it. Rodrygo served as a direct replacement, occupying the No 10 role, and was the brightest of the four forwards. Two thrilling solo runs were halted in illegal fashion, bringing a warning to the two Cameroonians, as the Real Madrid man showed a knack for dribbling straight down the middle of the pitch. She has elusiveness and passion.

While he was out and with Neymar's ankle injury expected to keep him out for longer, Tite looked to save Rodrygo's leg. When Gabriel Jesus followed, after a wholly ineffective display, it extended his wait to score a World Cup goal.

On the left, Gabriel Martinelli begins a quest to open his Brazilian account. Devis Epassy denied it on the chance of a hat-trick, turning over a header, repelling a shot after a solo run and turning the effort into the top corner. The goalkeeper also thwarted Antony's efforts twice, each from distance, but the Manchester United winger's tricks were not always accompanied by productivity.

Epassy had conceded three goals against Serbia and nearly ruined his night, spilling Militao's shot on the go but, somewhat flatteringly, he ended it with the official man of the match award. This time, at least, Cameroon were given no reason to regret their decision to send Andre Onana home. This article was written by EDUKASI CAMPUS. 

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