Neymar's brace inspires Brazil to top Group A
Posted: 23 June 2014
Neymar starred once again with a brace to help Brazil secure top spot in Group A, ahead of Mexico, on goal difference.
Neymar scored a double to help Brazil to a 4- victory over Cameroon in the final round of fixtures in Group A, with Fred and Fernandinho chipping in amongst the goals as well.
AS IT HAPPENED
An entertaining first half saw three goals, with both sides looking to go on the attack and showing real intent in trying to score.
Brazil immediately got off to a good start with a number of attacks launched on the Cameroonian goal, but were unlucky not to get the final shot away to threaten goalkeeper Itandje.
Neymar got the opener in the 17th minute after excellent work from Luis Gustavo, who stole the ball from the Cameroon defence and delivered a delightful low cross into the box for Neymar to redirect the ball past Itandje and inside the far post.
Cameroon didn’t drop their heads though, as they ran at the hosts immediately after conceding, winning a couple of corners for their efforts. Matip had the best opportunity as his header hit Julio Cesar’s cross-bar from a corner, and the referee awarded another corner as the ball was adjudged to have deflected off a Brazilian head.
The corner led to yet another opportunity for Cameroon as the ball fell to Allan Nyom at the back post, who then delivered in a low cross which passed Cesar and found Matip, with the defender making no mistake to tap into the net from close range.
Both teams were still focussed on offence as Brazil and Cameroon had their fair share of attacks. Brazil understandably looked the more urgent side though, as they passed the ball with real fluency inside the Cameroon half.
A few good passes between Neymar, Oscar and Hulk saw the latter ending up with the ball and the goal at his mercy, but the stocky attacker failed to get a shot away.
Neymar restored Brazil’s lead before the break, after a great run which saw the striker cut in from the left wing and unleash a good strike to beat Itandje, and half-time soon followed.
The two sides got off to a similar start in the second half as Brazil launched the first attack, but Cameroon did well to contain the hosts for the opening five minutes of the second half.
Fred finally broke his World Cup duck as he headed home from a good David Luiz cross in the 50th minute. Replays, however, showed that the striker was slightly offside at the time of the cross from Luiz, but the goal stood nonetheless.
It was all Brazil from then on, and Fernandinho, who came on for Paulinho at the break, capped off a good display from the Brazilians with a fine finsih of his own. Oscar intercepted after a poorly taken quick free-kick form Cameroon just outside their box, and the Chelsea midfielder passes to Fernandinho who placed the ball beyond Itandje once again and into the Cameroonian net.
With a 4-1 result in favour of Brazil, the win saw the hosts topping Group A, with Mexico finishing in second place after a 3-1 win over Croatia. Brazil will now face Group B runners-up Chile, and Mexico will play Group B winners Netherlands in the first two Round of 16 fixtures.
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Article by: Chad Klate (@CKlatey)