Cameroon gave Brazil an early scare in the game, but Samba Kings recovered in style and would win the game 4-1 and clinch first place of group A in the process.
Byline: Jorge Belon, Editor in Chief
BRASILIA– Neymar scored two important goals from Brazil, in the early stages of the match, to set the tempo and guide Brazil to a much needed 4-1 victory on Monday.
“I’m doing what I’ve dreamed of,” Neymar told FIFA.com. “So I want to help my team-mates by scoring goals, defending, challenging for the ball, whatever’s needed to get us the win. I think that yes, it was our best performance, not just due to the scoreline but because of what we showed out there.”
The Barcelona attacking midfielder would get going early in the match, he almost scored within the second minute of the game, but a Cameroonian defender was there to deflect the shot that was headed towards the goal. However, in the 17 minute Neymar would finally break through and give Brazil the lead.
Brazilian midfielder Luis Gustavo stole the ball from a Cameroonian player, then he started to run down the left hand side of the field, when he saw a cutting Neymar heading towards the center of the penalty box. Gustavo then sent a low cross towards the 22-year-old Brazilian play maker, the number 10 of Brazil would immediately open hips and kick the ball with the side of his foot, and send the ball to the bottom right hand corner of the net to give A Seleção the early 1-0 lead.
However, the lead of Brazil would last briefly, Cameroon would tie the game at the 26 minute. The French native Nyom would take the ball down the right hand side of the field. He attempted to cross the ball, but Brazilian defender Dani Alves would deflect the pass with a slide tackle. But the ball would bounce right back to the feet of Nyom, he then ran towards the box and sent a low hard cross to the center of the penalty box.
German native Joel Matip would be there to hammer in the ball and tie the game at 1-1, his goal would make the Brazilian fans at the Estádio Nacional quiet and nervous. Brazil still had a chance of not making the next round if they lost to the Lions on Monday.
An unsettling blanket of silence hit the stadium after the goal, the Brazilian players were about to loose the support of their fans, but Neymar would set them at ease. He would score again at the 35 minute, to give the Samba Kings the 2-1 lead. Brazilian right back Marcelo intercepted a pass on the right side of the field, and volleyed the ball right into the path of Neymar.
The Barcelona play maker was standing right outside the penalty box, when he received the ball. Neymar ran towards the box, confronted one defender, cut to his right to loose him, and then he blasted it to the bottom left hand side of the net, sending Cameroon goalie Charles Itandje the wrong way.
After Neymar scored his fourth goal of the World Cup in three games, the fans came back to life, and the Brazilian carried their one goal lead into the halftime break. They would increase the lead, early in the second half. A Lions defender headed out a cross from Neymar that was flying dangerously in the penalty box.
However, Fernandinho would intercept the attempted clearance right outside the box, he chested the ball down and then juggled with the ball to get by one defender, and then sent the ball to his left to an open David Luiz. The new Pairs Saint-Germain FC defender center the ball right to Fred’s head, the number nine for Brazil would just head the ball into the back of the net to give the Seleção a commanding 3-1 lead at the 49 minute.
Fred celebrated as man relieved to score his first goal of the World Cup, in the third and final group stage match.
“I’m thrilled to have scored. I’ve been getting a lot of criticism, but it hasn’t upset me too much, because I know the other players in the squad are right behind me, and that has really encouraged me,” Fred told FIFA.com after the game. “They’ve seen the way I’ve been playing, and how I perform in training every day. Thanks to God, everything worked out. Now we can continue to grow together as a team. It’s a vital moment for us. I want to make sure I keep scoring, and help the team progress.”
Brazil was in party mode for the rest of the game, until their hearts dropped when they saw Neymar go down at the 70 minute, after being sandwiched from a Lions defender.
He was on a counter and seemed destined for the goal, when all of sudden he appeared to be clipped from behind, he would end up losing control of his balance and crash into the legs of a defender. He stayed down for a while, and the stadium once again went dead silent, as the faith of winning the World Cup depends on him.
Finally he got up and the Coach of Brazil Luiz Felipe Scolari would sub him out to not take anymore chances. With Neymar gone, the attack of Brazil did not slow down. They kept on looking for more goals. At the 84 minute of the match Fernandinho would get his goal, and give Brazil a 4-1 victory with his graceful shot to the bottom right hand corner of the net.
The Lions will now be heading home disappointed that they finished last in the group with zero points and a negative eight goal differential. As for Brazil they will begin the next face of winning their sixth World Cup title, by facing fellow South American rival, Chile in the round of 16 on Saturday, June 28 at the Estádio Mineirão at Belo Horizonte.
“I’ve come up against Chile twice before and remember how difficult it was for us,” Scolari told FIFA.com after the game about facing Chile in the next round. “They’re a typical South American side: they’re cunning, organised and have quality. If I could, I’d pick a different team for us to face.”
To watch the highlights of this match click on this link http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=intl:1907247, video provided by ESPN FC.