Brazil top group despite last-gasp loss

Friday 02 December 2022 21:30

Brazil have secured top spot in Group G, despite suffering a 1-0 defeat against Cameroon in their final group-stage game at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Vincent Aboubakar's late header in injury time gave the Indomitable Lions a victory to savour, although it wasn't enough to keep his team in the tournament.

With Switzerland progressing as the runners-up behind the Selecao, our quartet of Brazilian Reds can now look forward to a last-16 clash with South Korea on Monday evening (19:00 GMT).

Alex Telles, Antony and Fred all started the game against Cameroon in Lusail, with Casemiro rested as an unused substitue.

Brazil began the encounter on the front foot, with Antony's trickery causing early problems for Nouhou Tolo, who hacked him down, forcing referee Ismail Elfath to brandish an early caution.

Fred was involved in his side's early pressure too, controlling well on the edge of the area, before firing just too high to trouble Cameroon goalkeeper Devis Epassy.

Epassy was called into action moments later, when Antony cut inside before curling a neat right-footed effort that had to be dealt with to keep the scoreline level.

Arsenal duo Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus linked up well as the first half drew to a close, with Martinelli's goalbound effort again halted by the 29-year-old keeper.

As the second half began, Brazil continued to assert their dominance, as Jesus was the next to try his luck, again denied by Cameroon's ever busy shot-stopper.

Telles was replaced by fellow defender Marquinhos, as coach Tite continued to tinker with his side to try and find a solution to help break the deadlock. Fred was also replaced, by Newcastle's Bruno Guimaraes, soon after.

Eder Militao's effort cannoned off the woodwork with an hour played at the Lusail Stadium, with Antony also continuing to prove a handful for Brazil's African opponents down the right-hand side.

However, there was to be late drama, as just moments into the nine additional minutes, Ngom Mbkeli burst down the right flank, before his pinpoint cross was headed home by Aboubakar. The scorer was dismissed moments later, as his shirtless celebration brought him a second yellow card, to leave his country hanging on.

Fred was replaced by Bruno Guimaraes as Brazil looked to find a vital breakthrough.

There was however to be no such luck for Brazil, as they fell to their first defeat in Qatar, with Switzerland's 3-2 victory over Serbia in the group's other game ensuring Cameroon's exit in the process.

Our Brazilian quartet will hope for better fortunes when they face South Korea early next week, with the aim of achieving the country's sixth World Cup success no doubt at the forefront of their minds.