Cameroon became the first African team to defeat Brazil at the FIFA World Cup with a 1-0 victory thanks to a late goal by Vincent Aboubakar against a much-changed Canarinho side.
Cameroon’s hopes of reaching the World Cup knockout stages for the first time in 32 years rested on a win over five-time champions Brazil, who made nine changes after qualifying from a record 10th consecutive group stage with a late 1-0 win over Switzerland. When Fred floated a cross towards Gabriel Martinelli, the forward’s header was tipped over by Devis Epassy, the rotated Seleço side quickly set about maintaining their 100% winning streak in Group G.
The opportunity did little to deter a Cameroonian team that set their sights on winning a final World Cup group stage match for the first time in their history, and Nouhou Tolo’s powerful cross kept Ederson on high alert as the ‘keeper diverted the attempt. Cameroon nearly led at halftime despite seeing little of the ball, as Bryan Mbeumo became the first player in Group G to get a shot on target against Brazil when his header was palmed away by Ederson.
Cameroon gained confidence as a result of the late chances, and the recalled Aboubakar fired a first-time shot across goal that was inches wide. Brazil quickly applied pressure after scoring all three of their World Cup goals after halftime, and Martinelli’s curled effort was palmed over the crossbar once more by Epassy. Both teams had half-chances cameroon finally struck the decisive blow late on when Aboubakar headed in Jerome Mbekeli’s cross, only to be sent off for a second bookable offence for removing his shirt in celebration.
Cameroon put on a valiant performance to defeat a second string, but still talented, Brazil, but the victory was insufficient to keep the Indomitable Lions from exiting the World Cup early. Brazil rarely threatened and appeared disjointed in defeat, but Tite’s decision to rest key players may pay dividends in the knockout rounds.