Cameroon secured a historic late triumph over five-time world champions Brazil thanks to Vincent Aboubakar’s stoppage-time header, but it wasn’t enough to advance the African team to the World Cup’s final 16.
Cameroon went into the game knowing they needed to beat Brazil to keep their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages alive, and they delivered due to their captain Aboubakar, who was sent out for celebrating his late victory.
Cameroon went into the game knowing they needed to beat Brazil to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the knockouts and they upheld their end of the bargain thanks to their captain Aboubakar, who was sent off for his celebrations in the wake of his late winner.
However, Cameroon were unable to make up enough ground in Group G to advance to the next round, regardless of their result against Brazil.
The South Americans retained top spot in the group due to a better goal difference than Switzerland, which means they will face South Korea in the quarter-finals on Monday evening.
Cameroon claimed famous win over Brazil
Cameroon’s hopes of pulling off an upset were surely raised when they saw Brazil’s starting XI, as manager Tite made nine changes with qualification from Group G already secured.
The presence of Ederson, Fabinho, and Gabriel Martinelli, however, meant that it was still a Brazil side packed with quality, and they dominated proceedings at the Lusail Iconic Stadium.
But, whether it was due to line-up changes affecting their fluency or a sense of complacency creeping in with a place in the knockouts already secured, the Selecao squandered opportunities throughout the game.
Arsenal’s Martinelli saw several efforts well saved by goalkeeper Devis Epassy, while Eder Militao, Bremer and Bruno Guimaraes all saw close-range efforts blocked by desperate Cameroon defending.
Brazil ended the game with 21 shots and an expected-goals total of 2.25 but couldn’t break down Cameroon, who came close themselves in first-half injury-time when Bryan Mbeumo’s header was clawed away by Ederson.
Rigobert Song’s side eventually punished their opponents for their profligacy through Aboubakar, with the captain – recalled to the side after his goal and assist salvaged a point in their previous game against Serbia – nodding in a late winner before earning a second yellow card for removing his shirt in the raucous celebrations.
Guimaraes had two more wonderful chances to salvage a point for Brazil, who were lucky that Switzerland did not extend their advantage over Serbia and beat them to top place in the group.
Cameroon’s victory was insufficient to advance them to the final 16, as the African team finished third in Group G with four points.
Brazil retained first place due to a greater goal difference than Switzerland, with both teams finishing the group stage with six points. Serbia finished last with one point after falling to the Swiss 3-2.
Brazil will face South Korea in the last 16 on Monday (kick-off 7pm), while Switzerland will face Portugal on Tuesday (kick-off 7pm).