Brazil was the only team that could complete a perfect group stage after every team beforehand failed to.
With qualification not an issue, Brazil opted to rotate its starting XI. However, if Brazil lost, it had a slight chance of falling second in Group G.
Cameroon and Brazil had faced twice in previous World Cups. In their first encounter in 1994, Brazil won 3-0 and current Cameroon head coach Rigobert Song was sent off. That year, Brazil went on to win its fourth World Cup.
It was a fiery start to proceedings, with a yellow card drawn to each team within the first seven minutes. Cameroon had two more players cautioned before the end of the half, as Brazil bossed possession, leaving Cameroon on the back foot.
Brazil took 10 shots in the first half with no luck, three of which were on target. While Cameroon was the first team to have a shot on goal against Brazil this tournament, almost breaking the deadlock before the half.
A one-sided half ended nil-all. Cameroon still had a chance of qualification for the Round of 16, if results went in its favour.
More FIFA World Cup News
Cameroon entered the second half on a mission. Qualification was in sight, as it fired from all cylinders.
Both teams endured injury hiccups, as Brazil’s Alex Telles had to be taken off 10 minutes into the second half.
Cameroon’s Andre Onana replacement, Devis Epassy continued to halt Brazil, save after save. Epassy ended with seven saves at the final whistle.
Epassy took a knock to the head, after clashing with the post. It took a few moments for him to get back onto his feet, yet he played the rest of the match.
Due to the stoppages, the referee allowed an extra nine minutes of additional time, essentially 10 per cent more game time. But, it only took Cameroon two more minutes to strike.
A looping cross into the box by Jerome Ngom Mbekeli was met by Vincent Aboubakar, who fired Cameroon into the lead.
His goal sent the Cameroonian fans into raptures, even his celebrations were too much. Due to the elation, Aboubakar must’ve forgotten he had been booked. After taking his shirt off in celebration, he received a second yellow and was sent off.
For the final five minutes, a 10-man Cameroon defended Brazil to hold onto its second-ever World Cup clean sheet. Its last clean sheet came in the 1990 World Cup against Argentina, where Cameroon won 1-0.
Cameroon became the first African nation to beat Brazil at the World Cup. But, unfortunately for Cameroon, it was the end of the road.
While Brazil still progressed, Cameroon narrowly didn’t, as Switzerland defeated Serbia in a 3-2 thriller, to finish second in Group G.
Yet, this World Cup only gets more interesting. As it’s the first since 1994, in which no teams won three of their three group stage matches. Anything could happen in the Round of 16.
Subscribe to our newsletter!