- Larissa Ragonesi
Brazil vs Cameroon
Brazil's streak of winning every game in the World Cup in Qatar has come to an end. The team that was intact without suffering any goals so far, but on Friday (2) the team faced its first defeat, losing 1-0 to Cameroon due to a goal by Aboubakar late in the second half of the game. With a spot already secured in the next phase, Tite rotated almost the entire team, giving opportunities to players who hadn't played against Switzerland and Serbia or who haven’t even debuted in a World Cup. Despite the changes, Brazil was superior to Cameroon, but it was not easy, there were tactical problems, and they failed to score.
They were punished in the 45th minute when Aboubakar took advantage of a cross between Bremer and Éder Militão to head the ball away from Ederson. The lack of integration was one of the concerns that preceded the match, although the players were confident that by playing together in training they could compensate for this lack of game rhythm, since most had not yet entered the field during the championship. In fact, Brazil managed to control the game, and created dangerous chances, but failed to score. They had several chances, but the ball did not go into the goal.
The player who stood out the most was Gabriel Martinelli. He currently plays for Arsenal. Martinelli started his professional career in 2018. He is one of the youngest players on the national team at only 21 years old. Despite not being able to score any goals, he was the player responsible for almost all of Brazil's dangerous shots.
In defense, the team had not allowed a single shot on target during the first two games, but this time Ederson in his debut had to work, being required in a great defense at the end of the first half, to prevent what would be a header goal by Mbeumo.
In the second half, Tite changed the team even more with Bruno Guimarães, Everton Ribeiro, and Pedro seeking the goal. Then, Antony left, and Raphinha entered. Marquinhos also had to come in, improvised on the left side after Alex Telles was injured, and now out of the World Cup because of the injury. Even with the changes none of them managed to change the score.
Aboubakar, on the other hand, managed to score a goal for Cameroon and went wild. For taking off his shirt in celebration, he received a second yellow card and was sent off. It was already late in the second half and his team had nothing to lose since even with a win they would be disqualified. The player knew of the penalty previously but did not care, it was the most peaceful and happy red card in the history of the World Cup.
Neymar, still recovering from an ankle injury, was at the same stadium he was injured in during the opening match. He accompanied the delegation for the first time after the injury and watched the match from the stands along with Danilo and Alex Sandro, also injured.
With the defeat, Brazil moves from their participation in group G with six points, enough to qualify for the next round in first place. Cameroon was eliminated in third place with four points. The second spot went to Switzerland, who beat Serbia 3-2, having six points, and will now face Portugal, group H leader, in the round of 16. Serbia left with one point at the bottom. Brazil will return to the field next Monday (4), at 16:00 (Brasília time), against South Korea, placed second in group H, at Stadium 974.