Victorious Cameroon fail to qualify

Published December 3, 2022
Cameroon's teammates celebrate at the end of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group G football match between Cameroon and Brazil at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha on Friday. — AFP
Cameroon's teammates celebrate at the end of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group G football match between Cameroon and Brazil at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha on Friday. — AFP

VINCENT Aboubakar scored with a stunning header before he was sent off as Cameroon grabbed a famous 1-0 win over Brazil on Friday night but wasn’t enough to prolong their journey at the World Cup in Qatar after Switzerland edged Serbia 3-2 to grab second spot behind the Brazilians.

Aboubakar got on the end of a terrific cross from Karl Toko Ekambi in stoppage time and powered a header past Ederson. But having already been cautioned, he took his shirt off to celebrate and was given another yellow card at the Lusail Stadium.

Brazil, who had nothing to show for their dominance, finished top of Group ‘H’, level on points with the Swiss but with a better goal difference as the result in the other game sent Cameroon packing despite their smash-and-grab win.

Switzerland edge Serbia to grab second spot behind Brazil

For Brazil, there wasn’t much riding on the final group game against Cameroon, and so naturally, coach Tite decided to rest his first-team stars. Cameroon needed to win to have any chance of going through but it was Brazil’s fringe players, looking to show their worth, who ran the show.

Cameroon almost got a goal in the last action of the first half but Ederson saved Bryan Mbuemo’s header. It was incidentally the first save Brazil had to make in at the tournament by then.

It was one-way traffic in the second half too as Brazil kept coming from all angles, consistently probing the Cameroon defence for the goal; Gabriel Martinelli from the left being the tormentor-in-chief.

However, that didn’t matter and Aboubakar had the final say.

It was the Swiss, though, who were celebrating at the end of it all as goals rained in the other group game at the Stadium 974.

Xherdan Shaqiri fired the Swiss into the lead in the 20th only for Serbia to hit back with two goals in nine minutes. First Aleksander Mitrovic scored with a header and then Dusan Vlahovic made it 2-1 in the 35th with a stunning finish.

Switzerland, though, got the leveller a minute from half-time through Breel Embolo and took the lead three minutes into the second half when Remo Freuler capped off a brilliant team move by finding the net.

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2022

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