Cameroon beats Brazil 1-0 but withdraws from World Cup
LUSAIL, Qatar — A late goal from skipper Vincent Aboubakar ended Cameroon’s 20-year wait for a World Cup victory as the Indomitable Lions retired in style by beating a much-changed Brazil 1-0 in the Lusail stadium on Friday.
With qualification already in the bag after victories over Serbia and Switzerland, Brazil still won Group G, ahead of Switzerland on goal difference, and will face second-placed South Korea in Group H, who beat Portugal 2-1 in the next round.
Cameroon, whose last World Cup win was in 2002 against Saudi Arabia, were down for most of the match but came alive from the death. Aboubakar tossed a header past Ederson and then was sent off for collecting a second yellow for taking his shirt off in celebration.
The win was Cameroon’s first against Brazil at the World Cup and the South American giants’ first loss to African opposition in the final.
Brazil had by far the greatest share of ball possession and carved out many more chances than their opponents, but in the end it was Cameroon who got the only stat that really matters.
“We dominated the game and had several chances, only one goal was missing,” said Brazilian Eder Militao.
“We should have scored but a lack of attention in one game allowed them to score. It’s frustrating considering the way we played.
The match took place in a relatively subdued atmosphere in the cavernous Lusail Stadium, the tournament’s biggest venue, with Brazilian reserves eager to impress but Tite’s side unable to assert their usual flair.
Gabriel Martinelli was Brazil’s sharpest player and nearly put the five-time champions ahead in the 14th minute when he was spotted by Fred’s ball overhead, but the Arsenal striker’s header attracted a nice reaction from Devis Epassy.
Cameroon offered almost no attacking threat until the first half, when Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu’s cross was met by a powerful descending header from Bryan Mbeumo which Ederson collected with a full-power hand.
Tite had seen enough and made a triple substitution shortly after the break, bringing in Marquinho for the injured Alex Telles and replacing Rodrygo and Fred with Everton Ribeiro and Bruno Guimaraes.
The substitutes propelled Brazil into a sudden flurry of chances with Epasy forced into action three times in as many minutes.
First, Martinelli pricked the palms of the Cameroon goalkeeper with an instantaneous shot in the 56th minute.
Then Militao tried his luck in the ensuing corner coaxing a fumble from the Cameroon keeper, who recovered to scramble the ball safely, before the snitch Antony intervened, forcing Epassy into a dive to prevent his curling . effort.
Tite dispatched Pedro in the 64th minute and Raphinha in the 79th as Brazil looked to salvage their perfect group record, but Cameroon hung on until Aboubakar came to the right place at the right time to grab his moment.
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