Recap: Cameroon vs. Brazil
06/23/2014 7:21 PM
06/23/2014 7:21 PM
Brasilia, Brazil (SportsNetwork.com) - Neymar played a starring role in Brazil's Group A finale on Monday, bagging a brace to help put the host nation in first place with a 4-1 defeat of Cameroon at Estadio Nacional.
The Barcelona man, who scored two goals in Brazil's opening match of the tournament, found the back of the net twice in the span of 18 minutes in the first half of Monday's affair.
Joel Matip's 26th-minute strike had given Cameroon a slight hope of taking a share of the spoils, but second-half tallies from Fred and Fernandinho rounded out the comfortable result for Brazil, which will take on Group B runner-up Chile in the round of 16 on Saturday.
"We're making progress day by day, game by game, despite running into a few difficulties and ups and downs," Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said after the match. "Maybe we tried to hurry things a bit too much early on, when we scored our first goal and let anxiety get to us. We need to show more (calmness) and composure. Fortunately we ironed out some flaws at halftime and after the break we used the ball better again.
"I've come up against Chile twice before and remember how difficult it was for us. They're a typical South American side: they're cunning, organized and have quality. If I could, I'd pick a different team for us to face."
Brazil opened the scoring after 17 minutes when Neymar got on the end of Luiz Gustavo's low cross and guided a first-time effort just inside the far post.
Matip thought he had brought Cameroon level in the 25th minute when he rose high to meet a corner kick, but the Schalke man sent his powerful header off the crossbar.
But the 22-year-old made amends for the miss just one minute later when Allan Nyom broke free on the right flank and slipped a pass across the face of goal for Matip to tuck home from close range for his first international goal.
The two nations were level until the 35th minute when Neymar took a forward pass from Marcelo, drifted inside from the left flank and fired a low shot on target that wrong-footed goalkeeper Charles Itandje and ended up in the back of the net.
Fred broke his scoring duck just four minutes into the second half when he latched on to David Luiz's ball played across goal and nodded the delivery home from close range.
Brazil continued to dominate the affair and managed to tack on a late goal in the 84th minute. A giveaway from the Indomitable Lions allowed Brazil to penetrate the penalty area with a well-worked move that saw Fernandinho get through on goal and slip a shot just inside the far post, capping a solid showing from the host nation.