Cameroon versus Brazil kicked off with a full house at Lusail stadium on Friday, one of the last games before the all-important knockout stages in Qatar.
Donning its lesser-known blue kit, Brazil kickstarted its play in true style, with hints of the Brazilian flare showing themselves across the pitch.
Despite this, Cameroon is awake and on the ball, pressing on the Brazilians who clearly have dominance in the start. But the crowd is also very clearly awake too, triggering a roaring Mexican wave that circles the stadium twice and only comes to a halt as Brazil has a go at goal.
At 19 minutes in, Cameroon appear to pick up the lace and are now pressing hard on the Brazilian box. Two attempts at goal are made though none bear fruit for the Africans.
Not long after the ball is back in Cameroonian territory and a strike taken by Fred thought it ends up north of the crossbar.
A run by Brazilian number 21 flew to a grinding halt just outside the penalty box and Kunde is given the yellow.
After several minutes of anticipation, the free kick goes straight into the wall – a disappointing performance by the Brazilians.
Brazil makes another run for it but is once again taken down in the last second by a desperate Fai. However, it’s another disappointment, with this ball going too far above both wall and the goal.
Another Brazilian break is made at 37 minutes though Cameroon fails to stop this one. A clean sidestep by Martinelli lets off a rather weak strike at goal.
With five minutes left till half-time, Brazil’s goalkeeper finally sees some action as Cameroon’s Mbeumo makes a run for it. Blue defenders make a quick appearance to header the ball comfortably in the hands of the Ederson.
Minutes before the halftime whistle is blown a Cameroonian strike sends Ederson flying to secure an incredible save. By halftime, there were 10 Brazilian attempts at goal to a measly 1 for Cameroon.
However, the Africans restart the game at a higher pace and take a shot at goal that goes just wide and sends Ederson diving.
Moments later Cameroon’s defenders are left scrambling in the box as they, along with the goalkeeper, attempt to grasp the ball.
Brazil finally has a real chance at goal in the 55th minute after a clean run by Martinelli down the bank. The shot is blocked by the goalkeeper who quickly finds himself again blocking another attempt.
Epassy’s fate is left in question after he falls back onto his own post and lays lifeless for a few seconds before medics bring him back to his feet.
At 65 minutes in, Martinelli and Marquinhos attempt a tag team that leads nowhere, and it’s clear that Cameroon’s defence is not going down without a fight.
Guimaraes takes a shot that sends fans nearly 86,000 fans in the stands cheering though this is short-lived. By 75 minutes into the game, the scoreboard remains goalless and the previously vibrant crowd appear nonchalant aside from the few breaks that are made.
Cameroon’s Ntcham takes a low strike from 30 yards out that is quickly picked up by Ederson. Moments later Martinelli makes an impressive run but is taken down once again by Cameroon’s number 10.
As the timer counts down, Brazil continue to make last-ditch attempts at goal but Cameroon’s defence showed itself to be a force to be reckoned with.
Nine minutes of extra time are added to the clock – a great move for Cameroon who finally manage to penetrate Brazil’s defence. Aboubakar finds the back of the net. The Cameroonian forward takes off his shirt to celebrate but receives a second yellow that sends him off the pitch.
With Brazil already securing its spot in the Round of 16, Cameroon bows out despite defeating World Cup favourites. One thing is for sure, Brazil fans here at Lusail Stadium were left frustrated.