Brazil top group A as Neymar’s brace and Fred’s ‘moustache goal’ provides them with a 1-4 win over Cameroon.
The host nation have now set up a clash with Chile in the round of 16, while Mexico, who finished second in Group A after defeating Croatia in their match last night, will face Netherlands.
Brazil were provided the lead in the 17th minute of the match as Luiz Gustavo’s low cross from the left was calmly directed past Charles Itandje in the Cameroon goal. It was a just reward for domination the early part of the game as they controlled possession and put pressure on the Cameroon defence.
But the African nation responded well to that goal and scored the equalizer after nine minutes as Joel Matip, who was left unmarked in the box by Marcelo, turned in a cross from Nyom from the left. Cameroon came to life after that goal and looked good in possession. But parity didn’t last long as Neymar produced another moment of brilliance for the home side.
The Barcelona forward drifted in from the left after receiving the ball from Marcelo and was allowed the time and space to shoot on goal, which he did brilliantly and provided Brazil with the lead once again.
Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men doubled their lead at the start of the second half and put the game beyond doubt. Fred, who has struggled to score in the World Cup and has come under a lot of criticism for his performances, finally found the back of the net, albeit with a bit of a help from his moustache. He prodded in David Luiz’s ball from the left and wheeled away in celebrations. Reply showed that the Brazilian forward might have been in an off-side position and that the ball kissed his moustache on its way to the back of the net.
Although Brazil were cruising the game towards the end, news of Mexico scoring their third goal against Croatia caused some in their ranks. Another goal from Mexico at that point would have taken them to the top of the table on goal difference, and Brazil would have had to face Netherlands. But Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho calmed their nerves with another goal in the 84th minute of the match and made sure of Brazil topping the group.
Luiz Felipe Scolari was delighted with the result and the support his team has got from the home crowd, but he is aware of Chile’s potential threat in the next round and insisted that his team need to be ‘calmer’.
“We’re feeling really good. Brazil has treated us more kindly than even we expected.
“We improved again today from the game against Mexico. We can still get better, and we know that Chile are a very good team.
“We were too nervous after they scored. We need to be calmer, to relax and go after the game.
“Chile have a lot of quality. If I could choose, I would choose another opponent. South American teams are always tough.” – The Brazil manager said after the game.
Meanwhile, Fred expressed his delight at having finally scored a goal and credited his moustache for it.
“Thank God this goal finally happened. I was being criticised very heavily and I tried to keep calm.
“The squad were wonderful with me, I have to thank everybody.
“As amazing as it sounds, the ball hit my moustache – it was a moustache goal.” – Fred said.