Cameroon beat Brazil 1-0 at the Lusail Stadium on Friday, capping off an impressive World Cup run that spanned 20 years thanks to a late goal from captain Vincent Aboubakar.
Brazil nonetheless topped Group G, ahead of Switzerland on goal difference, despite already having qualified thanks to victories over Serbia and Switzerland. Brazil will now face Group H runners-up South Korea, who defeated Portugal 2-1, in the next round.
Cameroon, whose previous World Cup victory came against Saudi Arabia in 2002, played poorly for the majority of the game but rallied to win it late. After beating Ederson with a powerful header, Aboubakar received a second yellow for removing his jersey in celebration, which resulted in his dismissal.
The victory marked Cameroon’s first World Cup victory over Brazil as well as the South American powers’ first World Cup loss to an African opponent.
Brazil enjoyed by far the most of the possession and created far more opportunities than their rivals, but Cameroon ultimately won the one statistic that matters.
Brazil’s Eder Militao claimed, “We dominated the game and had multiple chances; the only thing lacking was a goal.”
“We should have scored, but they were able to score on one play because we weren’t paying attention. Considering the way we performed, it’s disappointing.”
Brazil’s reserves were anxious to make an impression, but Tite’s team was unable to display their customary flair as the game unfolded in the imposing Lusail Stadium, the largest arena of the tournament.
Gabriel Martinelli Of Brazil
The most animated player for Brazil was Gabriel Martinelli, who came close to giving the five-time champions the lead in the 14th minute after being found by Fred’s ball over the top. However, Devis Epassy made a superb save in response to the Arsenal forward’s header.
Up until the final seconds of the first half, when Bryan Mbeumo met Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu’s cross with a thunderous downward header, Cameroon posed almost no offensive danger. Ederson deftly clawed the ball away with one hand while stretching.
Soon after the break, Tite decided that was enough and made a triple substitution, substituting Marquinho for the injured Alex Telles and Everton Ribeiro and Bruno Guimaraes for Rodrygo and Fred.
Brazil now had a flurry of opportunities as a result of the substitutes, forcing Epassy to play three times in as many minutes.
In the 56th minute, Martinelli fired a quick shot that pricked the Cameroon goalkeeper in the hands.
The Cameroon goalkeeper then recovered to scramble the ball out to safety after Eder Militao’s subsequent attempt, and the lively Antony joined the action, forcing Epassy into a diving save to stop his curling attempt.
Brazil attempted to preserve their perfect group record by adding Pedro in the 64th minute and Rafinha in the 79th, but Cameroon hung on until Aboubakar was in the right place at the right time to seize his opportunity.