The game: 1-0
Cameroon needed a victory to believe it. The aligned Brazilians needed to show themselves to shake up the hierarchy established by Tite. In the end, all the actors emerged from this opposition without having won their case. The Indomitable Lions fulfilled their part of the contract thanks to a very late goal from Vincent Aboubakar (1-0, see elsewhere), but they finished behind Switzerland, who won in the other evening game against Serbia (3-2). The Brazil B team, very attractive on paper, has been consistent but it will not give enough headaches to its coach. In question: she conceded her first defeat of the tournament. She could also have lost Alex Telles to injury.
The proteges of Rigobert Song had obtained an unexpected reprieve in coming up two goals against Serbia on Monday (3-3), after a crazy end to the match. Once again, they made the difference at the end of the match, even if the meeting took place and ended on a false rhythm. For a long time, we thought that the step was too high, facing the favorites of this World Cup. But the Cameroonians believed in it until the end and they were rewarded in the 92nd minute. They finished both halves strong: the first goal ball, a header from Bryan Mbeumo, was dismissed by Ederson after added time in the first period.
Opposite, the Brazilians delivered a coherent overall performance, of a completely different caliber than the French hairdressers, even if they purred in the second half and ended up being punished. Their strength will have been to monopolize the ball and secure access to Ederson’s cage. But the offensive quartet, however interesting in construction, lacked success in the last 20 meters. Still, it’s not for lack of trying. Gabriel Martinelli did it twice (45th +1, 56th) as did Antony (38th, 56th), who was also too messy. But the Seleçao fell on a great Devis Epassy which postponed everything. As if that weren’t enough, Pedro, Martinelli and Bruno Guimarães chained clumsiness when equalizing in stoppage time.
The player: This time, Vincent Aboubakar was not enough
The beautiful Cameroonian story of this World Cup continued for an evening this Friday at the Stade de Lusail. And the number one weapon of the Indomitable Lions has hit the mark again. Vincent Aboubakar scored the winning goal with a nice cross header. Established for the first time in the competition, the hero of the draw against Serbia (3-3, one goal and one assist) had crossed his shot too much on the first opportunity he had obtained (51st). The only one, before his saving helmet.
In the euphoria of his achievement, the 30-year-old striker also received a second yellow card for having removed his jersey when celebrating. If the captain of the evening did not manage to send his country into the eighth, which he would therefore not have disputed, he will at least have had the merit of maintaining the hope of a qualification until the last second. And to offer a prestigious victory to his country.
Dani Alves became this Friday, at 39 years and 210 days, the oldest player to play a World Cup match with Brazil in its history.