Cameroon 1 Brazil 0
Cameroon must settle for third place
This wasn’t like watching Brazil, who now go limping into the last-16 with a bloody nose and their status firmly dented as World Cup favourites.
What a night for Vincent Aboubakar, the man who has single handedly helped the proud Cameroonians sing just as proudly as they did during their 90s glory days.
His thumping header at the death from a Ngom Mbekeli cross was only seen by a couple of thousand of his fans, but the Indomitable Lions can roar again.
Aboubakar was sent off for his wild celebration afterwards, ripping off his top to earn a second yellow. But he won’t care a jot. The nine-match run without a victory is over against a team who, until now, appeared on course for a sixth title.
It had been until then been such a tepid atmosphere at this vast venue that will host the final in two weeks. An often wasteful performance from the Brazil reserve team, but this was a fixture when both sides ultimately had their minds on other matters.
Ultimately Cameroon’s miracle workers had their efforts rendered pointless by Switzerland scraping their way ahead against Serbia. Brazil had never looked likely to surrender Group G top spot, but, after this major blow, obsessions will now turn to Neymar Jr as hopes start to fade that he will be back for the last 16.
On to South Korea, the samba band just about march. No team at this tournament has won its opening three matches now. But unlike other teams, Tite’s players have repeatedly counted down the number of games to the final during press conferences. They won’t be so cocky now.
This was due to be largely a night off for the Brazilians against a Cameroon first team who made a grand total of 11 bursts into the opposition’s area. But the Africans fly home singing their hearts. They defended for their lives against a Brazilian side, and go home with the spoils.
This World Cup has been framed by many back home as an opportunity to reclaim the yellow shirt after Neymar, in particular, prompted anger by appearing in videos backing Bolsonaro.
For Brazil, of course, there was only need for a point to clinch the group. A lack of initial urgency was obvious throughout in the stands, with rows of empty seats at the vast Lusail – a major rarity for Tite’s men at a major tournament. In fact, in a first half when Brazil should have breezed into a comfortable lead, the biggest roar came when a picture of a smiling Neymar showed up on the big screen. It was a cheer which might as well be a plea to the gods amid mounting doubts over whether he will be fit in time to play any meaningful part.
Both sides had made significant changes for differing reasons: Brazil looking to give their first choice XI a breather, while Cameroon were playing for a miracle. In a sign of ambition from Cameroon, Rigobert Song recalled Aboubakar after his glorious Davor Šuker-style lob against Serbia. Unfortunately for the forward, who plays in the Saudi leagues, saw about ten times more of the ball in that substitute appearance earlier in the week than he did in the first half here.
Brazil, playing in a typically fluid system which switched from four to three in attack, should have been three up within half an hour, largely thanks to the efforts of their Premier League contingent. Manchester United’s Fred, one of 12 English-based players in this near flawless squad, sent the most inviting cross in for Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli to head over. Fred then had an effort deflected over the bar, and then Antony, in that move Manchester United supporters have seen so often, cut inside on to his left to send a shot flashing over.
The Cameroon defence, still seeking a victory at the World Cup after three successive tournament disappointments, was creaking. However, with deputy goalkeeper Devid Epassy, a journeyman playing in the Saudi league, coping admirably in the absence of Inter Milan’s André Onana, there was a sense the Africans would get their chance. Unfortunately, Manchester City’s Ederson, keen to prove a point after being benched in the opening two matches, would summon the most acrobatic of saves to palm over a downward header from Brentford’s Bryan Mbeumo.
In fact, the Indomitable Lions, with far fewer fans than they had during the that marvellous 3-3 draw in their second match, would enjoy their most spirited spell early in the second half and then in injury time.
Clearly urged by their no-nonsense manager Song to show more physicality. Brazil’s Alex Telles came off quite badly following a knock, and then Aboubaker muscled in but could fired just wide.
Yet this Brazilian side would, once again, save some of their best stuff for latter stages of the second half.
Martinelli, a constant threat, had an elegant left-footed effort saved by Epassy, who was then immediately called into action again. This time he clumsily spilled a poked close range effort from Bremer. Then Antony, who was once again at it with his pirouettes, sent an effort over.
In this audition for many a Brazilian amid the uncertainty around Neymar, it was Gabriel Jesus that will rue a missed opportunity, however. He was hauled off after 65 minutes, having been by far the most anonymous of a frustrated Brazilian attack.
Brazil were increasingly dominant in the final stages, but the match petered out, with Pedro unable to capitalise on a gilt-edge chance. Even as Tite threw on his first-choice attackers, the men in green held firm. But then came the Cameroonians to steal the night in stoppage time.
That’s time on the group matches
And with that, all of the Round of 16 fixtures are confirmed. Here’s what that means for Group G:
December 5: Brazil v South Korea, 7pm
December 6: Portugal v Switzerland, 7pm
À bientôt, Qatar
How highly would you rate revamped Brazil? Or the roaring Indomitable Lions?
Group G – in stone
Brazil – 6pts
Switzerland – 6pts
Cameroon – 4pts
Serbia – 1pt
In the end
Brazil rolled the dice, and couldn’t pull off their experiment, as France found against Tunisia. Their all-new starting XI failed to connect, despite setting off a whole host of chances. Cameroon deserved to win, from their solidity in defence (likely saving the neck of Epassy on a number of occasions) to their brightness in attack.
Few dream of a group stage exit, but beating Brazil at a World Cup? Quite the experience.
Great header, great celebration, great exit
Full time: Cameroon 1 Brazil 0
Cameroon take the win! As it stands, it doesn’t mean much, but they’re yet to call time at Stadium 974…
The whistle blows! Switzerland are through, and Cameroon doesn’t make it. Serbia finish bottom of the group.
90+9 min: Cameroon 1 Brazil 0
Guimaraes plays a loose ball into the box, which is headed out by a Cameroon defender, but Brazil are picking and picking. But will they get one? Guimaraes has a well-timed cross to get on the end of, and it inexplicably shoots over the cross bar.
End of the official added time, but let’s allow for the red card and associated fanfare.
90+7 min: Cameroon 1 Brazil 0
Guimaraes just inside the box leaps for a header but his touch is too soft and the effort floats into Epassy’s hands.
Brazil push forward, Alves driving from the right to cross in for a springy Marquinhos. Martinelli picks up the remains, and his header goes over the bar.
90+5 min: Cameroon 1 Brazil 0
A goal and a red card. Fabulous, fabulous stuff. With ten men to go, it’s vital that Cameroon hold their lead, whilst also clinging to the shred of hope that Serbia might equalise.
90+3 min: GOAL! Cameroon 1 Brazil 0
Mbekeli picks up a ball on the right, running at a clip in a spell of bright play, and rounding on the box, he sends the ball for who else by Aboubakar! He powers a header to the bottom corner and scores to go ahead!
Wrenching his shirt off, Aboubakar takes a lap of honour! He’s duly given a yellow card for the action, and having already received one, that’s him off!
If Serbia levelled, Cameroon would progress.
89 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Nouhou is clutching at his hamstring, a spent force after much of the match as a bullish presence in the Cameroon defence.
Pedro seizes the ball as it restarts, sweeping in a high effort that doesn’t cause too much trouble for Epassy. Guimaraes has a similar effort moments later, which is well-defended once again.
Guimaraes sets up for Martinelli on the left, whose cross intended for a team-mates is pushed out by Wooh.
Nine minutes! Nine minutes added.
87 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Guimaraes sneaks the ball from a messy Cameroon pass, and he runs to feed a running Raphinha. Guimaraes is set upon by Nouhou, however, and when he comes to shuffle the ball into the goal, he shot is weak and simple for Epassy to reach.
85 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Alves weaves through Cameroon players over the halfway line, and sets up Brazil’s next run. This time, it’s Raphinha drawing admiring glances on the right, as he slips to furnish Guimaraes with a cross. Wooh asserts himself in the middle of it, though, and sends the ball for a lacklustre Brazil corner.
As Cameroon look to break free, Guimaraes pulls down Ngamaleu trying to escape the half, and receives a yellow card.
Change for Cameroon, Mbekeli coming on for Ngamaleu.
83 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Alves and Raphina stand over the ball, a tempting distance from goal. Alves takes it, and the ball is almost magnetised to the head of the Cameroon’s first man. A weak showing indeed.
81 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Cameroon have no luck on their second corner, and Brazil are off and running. Martinelli at pace is tracked closely by Aboubakar, who brings him down just in front of the box in a necessary show of strength. Yellow card for Aboubakar, free kick for Brazil.
79 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Brazil make their last change, replacing Antony with Raphina.
Fai sends in an optimistic, heavy cross which Brazil defend out for a Cameroon corner. Toko Ekambi takes it, and the ball lands well in the jumping pack, but it’s Militao who gets his head on it.
The ball is defended only as far as Aboubakar, who shoots, but Alves turns the ball out for another corner.
77 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Guimaraes has the ball swiped by Toko Ekambi, looking for a way through the left. Cameroon are contemplative, eventually plumping for Ntcham to thread his way into the box. But he’s shut down by Brazil, who look to counter. They get as far as Cameroon’s box, but Guimaraes again falters.
Cameroon steal momentum back, and square on goal, Ntcham has the shot which forces Ederson to the ground to save.
75 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Guimaraes plays to Antony on the edge of the box, who gets unpinned by Nouhou in another impressive tackle that sends the turf flying.
I’m starting to get a nil-nil premonition. Brazil have looked blunted, even with their closest of chances this evening, and Cameroon have had sneaky moments, but nothing to entirely rattle the cage.
73 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Guimaraes sends a rocket over the cross bar to the proverbial row Z after Marquinhos picked the ball off Fai.
71 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Alves shuffles the ball to Antony high up to the right of Cameroon’s goal, but he’s overturned by Nouhou. Only a momentary spell on the ground.
Pedro is next to cut through the edge of the box, square on goal, before being sent packing by Fai. Brazil try again, Pedro attempting to weave through again, but the ball is left to roll out in the face of Brazil straying offside.
68 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Change for Cameroon, Kunde out and Ntcham in.
Vinicius Jr, rested tonight in Neymar’s absence to preserve the Real Madrid man, is sorely missed tonight, with Rodrygo unable to live up to his team-mates’ high standards creatively.
66 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Marquinhos boots the ball towards to Pedro, who sets up Martinelli on the left. Pedro shouts for service with a well-timed run, but there’s too much weight on the ball and it skids out for a goal kick.
Ribeiro looks to run the ball into the box, but he’s cleverly tackled by Ebosse to stifle the attack.
64 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
There’s a feeling Brazil will get there inevitably, as Cameroon tire, but for now, Cameroon have been able to keep Brazil out despite some shaky moments from Epassy.
Gabriel now sends a cross in from the left into the box, but Nouhou chests the ball out.
A change for Cameroon now: Toko Ekambi – middle name Brilliant – for Mbeumbo, and one for Brazil, which sees Jesus exit for Pedro.
62 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Ribeiro, fed by Guimaraes, looks for a breakthrough in the box, but Cameroon stay sturdy in defence and force the interlopers out of their half.
60 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Epassy is up, which is reassuring for Cameroon, who only have one more goalkeeper in the side. One more uncapped nineteen-year-old goalkeeper.
Cameroon win a free-kick which looks lively but Alves in the box hustles to keep it out.
58 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Ribeiro has a shot in its aftermath, and Epassy spills the ball on the save, before saving Militao’s follow-up effort. Anxious, anxious times for Epassy, who has to push the ball around the post moments later after Antony has another long-range shot.
Another corner for Brazil, taken deep. It springs nicely for Brazil, with Bremer who goes to get a head to it. In doing so, he collides with Epassy, who goes down with a painful-sounding shriek. Fai makes the save in his absence.
56 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Three changes for Brazil, including Marquinhos for Telles. On comes Guimaraes for Fred, and Ribeiro for Rodrygo.
Cameroon have an early chance, but quickly, play flips for Brazil, Martinelli going, and going, and going, before shooting and forcing Epassy into a little spell of brilliance.
Brazil have the corner, Antony takes.
54 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Rodrygo slides through the pack, as Cameroon go to pieces in the box. First Jesus slides in, to Epassy, who lets the ball jump out, as Cameroon and Brazil both get in the mixer before Epassy finally rolls on top of the ball gratefully.
Anguissa again has space in from the left to loop in a cross, but it’s starved for reception. Ball pushed back, Kunde has a really, really, wild shot.
52 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Telles comes off, and Marquinhos readies to replace him.
50 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Telles is up and play continues, with Aboubakar looking to snatch the ball from in front of Militao. Instead, he’s turned over, and the ball falls out for Brazil.
Another goal for Switzerland! This tightens their grip on second place, otherwise not changing the table. It does make things harder for Cameroon, however, for whom even an win wouldn’t be enough now.
Anguissa sends in a lefthanded cross, looking for Mbeumo. Aboubakar sprints into the box at an angle, swiping the ball towards goal, but the shot slips just wide.
Telles is down again, and will likely be swapped out now.
48 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
The ball is struck for Anguissa, but Telles, going for the interception, smacks into the Napoli player and goes down, hard. He stays down, as concerned players cluster around him.
46 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Cameroon look to make headway with a throw-in by the dugout, but Brazil push them back to their own half. Mbeumo unleashes down the right, looking for a running Choupo-Moting, but he’s bullied out, and wins Cameroon their first corner of the match.
Cameroon to get us underway, for the final 45 minutes of the group stages of this tournament.
How have your favourites fared? Underwhelmed, or brimming with pride? Share your thoughts here:
Mbeumo’s chance for Cameroon
Despite heavy pressure from Brazil, Cameroon end the half with the finest chance of the match so far. Brazil’s nine changes have left them a little tuneless and out of step with one another, despite the team’s obvious quality. This was the case with France, and it was Tunisia who managed to come away with the spoils, despite Deschamps’ second half additions of various starlets.
45+3 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
A cracking chance for Cameroon, and the first shot on target Brazil have had to deal with for the entirety of the World Cup! Mbeumo powers a header just inside the box with vigour after being fed by Ngamaleu, and Ederson has to leap to make the save.
45+1 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Martinelli has a fine shot, a little wobbly, as he falls on the edge of the box. Epassy gets his gloves to the strike to push the ball over the cross bar for a corner.
Rodrygo flies in to pick up the sliding corner, firing at goal, but Epassy does the work once again.
45 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Four minutes of added time, due to the raft of cards most likely.
In a game that certainly doesn’t want for goals, Switzerland have their equaliser! Serbia are bumped out, and down to last place, elevating Cameroon to a dignified but meaningless third.
43 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Alves grapples with Ngamaleu, which garners Cameroon a free kick just inside their own half. Little comes of it.
Rodrygo picks up the ball on the right, bursting down the flank seeking out Antony in the centre. He has a shot, but Epassy makes the save without too much effort.
Very much the story of the half, I’d say.
41 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Aboubakar plays through to Choupo-Moting; after a promising run into the box, Mbeumo lifts the ball up with an eye for Ederson’s goal, but it takes a minute deflection, making the save straightforward for the goalkeeper.
38 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Antony picks up the ball on the edge of the box as Brazil flood forward, and he has the opportunity to shoot but Epassy makes the save cleanly.
In the onslaught, a Brazilian boot is lost, as Fai undresses Martinelli with the toe of his boot. In the challenge, Fai goes down, and play halts momentarily.
Serbia have gone ahead at Stadium 974: this sends them up to second place, and Cameroon to the bottom of the group.
36 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Mbeumo gets some time down the right, before cutting into the centre of the Brazil half, but the ball is whisked away, and a sprinting Antony is set up. He can’t find passage through, Brazil choosing to reset back to Bremer.
For all of their fierceness, Brazil have lacked intensity in their attempts. Of course, they’ve had them, unlike Cameroon, who are still yet to contribute something special in Lusail.
Choupo-Moting gets away after Rodrygo is topping, but he’s isolated, and easily turned around.
34 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Alves stands over the ball three yards off the D. He lifts the ball over the wall, and although it curls nicely, the play floats over the cross bar in the end.
32 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Mbeumo skips down the right towards Brazil’s half, taking a leap over Militao, who slides to force the ball out of play.
Rodrygo breaks and finds an acre of space to cut through. A last-gasp intervention by Fai earns him a yellow card, and another worryingly well-positioned free kick for Brazil.
Four yellows feels like an impressive haul for just over thirty minutes
30 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Rodrygo fires straight into the wall, ball spilling out for a goal kick in the melee.
28 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Rodrygo dances through the midfield, twisting and turning with the ball past Cameroon players, before Kunde sticks the boot in, garnering him a yellow card, and a Brazil an enticing free can ten yards south of the D.
In Lusail, Serbia has levelled things: Mitrovic with the goal, if you can believe that. Nothing changes in the group at present.
26 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Mbeumo is pulled down by Fabinho, in what has been a nibble-heavy game. Cameroon edge closer and closer within Brazil’s half, looking to push their way through, but so far, Brazil have had an answer for everything Cameroon has offered.
24 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Kunde hacks at Alves, only ostensibly going for the ball, drawing him down in the midfield. Martinelli scoops up the best of the free kick, running into the box high up on the left, beating Fai, but having his shot for Jesus blocked at the last.
Antony has a shot with the scraps, and Wooh has to boot the ball out for a corner.
22 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Fred picks up a well-placed ball in the box and chances his arm with a high-kicked volley on the turn. A tricycle kick? It had stabilisers.
Brazil win a penalty which is immediately bundled out for another, which is more promising. Fabinho attempts to shuffle the ball in, but Epassy makes the save.
20 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Choupo-Moting slaloms through the Brazil half, making his way to the box, and Brazil defenders have to rouse themselves into action.
The threat is not entirely extinguished when, a moment later, Ederson has to jump to intervene a travelling cross.
Meanwhile, at Stadium 974, Switzerland have gone ahead, cementing their second place spot.
18 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Telles, scrapping with Mbeumo, gives away a free kick, which Ngamaleu attempts to play up the left. He’s manhandled down by Alves, for another free kick.
Mbeumo hangs out deep to the right of the Brazil half, but the long ball the free kick produces doesn’t have the momentum to make it to him.
16 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Martinelli picks up inside the Brazil half and begins running down the left, beating the green-and-red players who seek to impeded progress. He’s almost too quick to have picked decent support, and Cameroon smother the attack.
But only for a moment. Martinelli now has the opportunity to cross in for Jesus, and although the ball strikes a Cameroon head, Brazil win a corner at the end of the play.
14 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Antony now picks up a ball after a feint from Alves, but he can’t work it through, and resets to Rodrygo on the left. Cameroon aren’t making it easy for Brazil to scythe through, and the latest to lock down a run is Nouhou, who counters up the left. He hasn’t got enough support, however.
A solid chance for Brazil! Martinelli springs to get his head squarely on a long diagonal ball from Fred that he destines for goal. Epassy makes the save, tipping it over for a corner, which passes by with little incident.
12 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
A long ball – highly prized by Song – flies for Choupo-Moting, but he’s tracked too closely, and can’t keep hold of it.
Antony has another opportunity to leap on a righthanded run: getting the measure of him will be priority for Cameroon if they have any hope of a level contest.
10 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Wooh puts in a challenge on the halfway line to try and recapture the ball, but Brazil hold on, a lovely high ball looping to Martinelli running deep on the left. Too deep: flag goes up, offside.
Epassy has a nervy moment under siege from Jesus, forcing him to pass leftwards under pressure, breathing a sigh of relief when the ball meets its intended target.
8 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Anguissa sneaks the ball from Militao, who looks to bully it back and gets a yellow card from his troubles. Early feistiness from the referee, who now pauses to give Fred a talking to, likely quietening dissent.
Wooh fires a pass up the pitch to Mbeumo under pressure from the buzzing Brazil frontline. He gets another opportunity to move play forward, setting up Ngamaleu on the left for a breaking run.
6 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Telles looks to set up Martinelli, but Fai intervenes sharply; Brazil are pushed back, but only to the right wing, and Antony on the run. Nouhou muscles him as he works to swipe the ball out of play, but misses it completely and picks up a nervy yellow card chopping the Manchester United man down.
4 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Mbeumo goes to control a ball down on the right inside Brazil’s half but fumbles the ball with his hand, gifting the possession back to Brazil.
Cameroon have an early spell of possession, Wooh looking to feed the ball down the right, but the ball is pushed back to Fai, for the defender to work out a route through.
2 min: Cameroon 0 Brazil 0
Cameroon edge their way over the line, with Brazil playing back to Ederson to set up their first run down the right. Martinelli hastens the ball down the wing, as he does so well for Arsenal, looking for Jesus, but getting Fred, who can only sputter the cross into the hands of Epassy.
Brazil get us underway in Lusail; as we kick off, make sure to follow along with your live player ratings here:
Here they come
The players stream out of the tunnel and line up in front of their taut national badges, ready for the anthems.
Cameroon’s comes first, and is nicely belted out by the players, and Rigobert Song, eyes aloft. Brazil follows swiftly, the camera going straight for Neymar, dripping in jewels, in the crowd.
Alves, today’s captain, delivers the anthem with appropriate concentration, eyes clamped shut.
As it stands, Brazil only need a draw to top the group. But a win would distinguish them as the only team in the competition to have won all three of their group stage matches.
Cameroon, by contrast, would need to win, and improve their goal difference against Switzerland with a draw. Should Serbia, who also only have a point to their name, beat Serbia, they will need to score two more than Cameroon, who currently lead them on goal difference.
I’ll keep you up to date on developments in Stadium 974 where Switzerland meet Serbia, and as and when things are effected by events across Doha.
Warming up, earlier
The closest the recovering Neymar will get to action this evening
A one-man revolt within Cameroon’s ranks
The last time I covered Cameroon, I highlighted their not-uncontroversial road to the tournament, which has included allegations of witchcraft, and lawsuits over kit disputes, but in Qatar too, they’ve been dogged by drama.
No 1 goalkeeper Andre Onana left the squad on Tuesday, after being dropped by coach Rigobert Song following a fall out over incompatible goals. Onana was first dropped from the starting XI ahead of Cameroon’s match against Serbia for Devis Epassy, who starts today to earn his eight international cap.
When tensions couldn’t be resolved after the game, Onana took the decision to fly to Paris later that day.
The armband for a legend
How does this story end? After seeing the various permutations rise and fall in Group H where, during the space of 90 minutes, Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea could all progress, I’m keen for the upsets to continue. Surely if there’s an opportunity for Cameroon to trounce Brazil, it’s now, what with the less-favoured… Manchester City No 1… between the sticks.
Have your say below:
Pele in hospital after suffering series of health issues
Two days ago, Telegraph Sport reported on the three-time World Cup winner’s admission to a Sao Paulo hospital:
That report described his admission as unscheduled and went on to chronicle what appeared to be a major deterioration in his health.
But his wife, Marcia Aoki, reportedly said the 82-year-old had been admitted for exams and monthly analysis of chemotherapy, while his daughter, Kely Nascimento, later posted on Instagram: “Lots of alarm in the media today concerning my dad’s health. He is in the hospital regulating medication.
“There is no emergency or new dire prediction. I will be there for New Years and promise to post some pictures.”
Unsurprisingly, banners praising Brazil’s greatest-ever player ring the Lusail Stadium. Read Ben Rumsby’s full report here.
Atmosphere building in Lusail
Thoughts on team news?
It’s quite the luxury to have Ederson in reserve, with Tite giving a rest to No 1 Alisson. The rotation has also allowed for Martinelli to come on, and gain his fourth international cap on the greatest stage of all.
Cameroon will miss Jean-Charles Castelletto, who misses out on the match all together, having picked up an injury. The defender has been heroic for Cameroon, and opened their scoring against Serbia in their fractious 3-3 draw earlier this week. After his role in that match, talismanic striker Aboubakar has been handed a premier start by Rigobert Song.
Even Brazil’s B team will take some beating, and Cameroon would put away a number to be in with a chance.
Cameroon: Devis Epassy, Collins Fai, Christopher Wooh, Enzo Ebosse, Nouhou Tolo, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Pierre Kunde, Bryan Mbeumo, Eric-Maxim Chopo-Moting, Nicolas Mournie Ngamaleu, Vincent Aboubakar (c)
Substitutes: Ngapandouetnbu, Mbaizo, Mbekeli, Ondoua, N’Koudou, Gouet, Ntcham, Ekambi, Nsame, Bassogog, Marou
Brazil: Ederson, Alex Telles, Bremer, Eder Militao, Dani Alves (c), Fred, Fabinho, Gabriel Martinelli, Rodrygo, Antony, Gabriel Jesus
Substitutes: Alisson, Weverton, Silva, Marquinhos, Paqueta, Ribeiro, Casemiro, Guimaraes, Raphinha, Richarlison, Vinicius Junior, Pedro
Fresh legs for Tite
Good evening and welcome to Telegraph Sport’s live coverage of Cameroon vs Brazil, kicking off at the Lusail Stadium at 7pm (BST)
Tite will rotate his squad for their final Group G match, but opponents Cameroon still face an uphill battle to make the knockout stages of the World Cup. Brazil are already through to the last 16 and will top the table unless they lose and Switzerland win with a significant goal swing.
Meanwhile, opponents Cameroon have plenty to play for, they must win to have any hope of reaching the knockout round for the first time since 1990. They have never won their final group game at a finals, however, while Brazil are unbeaten at this stage in a record 17 matches.
Brazil, having their own goals in mind, will look to take nine points from a possible nine for the first time since 2006. “Being first is always the goal, regardless of who the opponent is in the next match “and our focus is always to win the games, try to earn nine points and give our best.” said Fabinho, one of the players set to come into the Brazil starting XI tonight.
“Whoever will play will have the opportunity to wear the shirt of the Brazilian national team in a World Cup, so the thought of winning a team has to always be this, to enter, give the best, win and be first.”
Tite’s first-choice starts have set a high standard and are yet to concede a goal in the tournament, kicking off with a 2-0 victory against Serbia, in which Tottenham Hotspur striker Richarlison bagged a second-half brace to wrap up the three points.
Cameroon have lost only two World Cup matches to South American teams, but both have been in their two meetings with Brazil, who have won all seven of their finals clashes with African opposition, scoring 20 goals and conceding just two.
Stay tuned for team news, build-up, and full coverage: you can also follow along with the other 7pm kick-off in this group, which sees Serbia face Switzerland here.