Wednesday June 25 2014

Brazil, Netherlands claim top spots in WC group deciders

Brazil’s forward Fred (C) vies with Cameroon’s

Brazil’s forward Fred (C) vies with Cameroon’s midfielders Landry N’Guemo (L) and Enoh Eyong (R) during the 2014 Fifa World Cup Group A match in Brasilia on Monday. Fred scored his first goal of the tournament in Brazil’s 4-1 win. PHOTO BY AFP 

By Agencies


Neymar scored twice as Brazil thrashed Cameroon 4-1 to reach the World Cup knockout rounds just ahead of group rivals Mexico on Monday.
A thrilling finale to Group A saw the hosts surge past Cameroon in Brasilia while Mexico downed Croatia 3-1 in Recife. The Netherlands beat Chile 2-0 to take top spot in Group B.
Brazil finished top of their group on seven points, leading Mexico, also with seven, on goal difference. Brazil will play Group B runners-up Chile in Belo Horizonte on Saturday while Mexico will face the Netherlands in Fortaleza on Sunday.
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said he was pleased his side had shown signs of improvement -- but admitted he would have preferred to have avoided Chile. Star striker Neymar opened the scoring in the 17th minute -- the 100th goal of the tournament in Brazil’s 100th World Cup match -- to set the hosts on their way.
In Monday’s earlier games, the Netherlands ensured top spot in Group B -- and a date with Mexico -- by beating Chile 2-0 in Sao Paulo.
Super-subs Leroy Fer and Memphis Depay grabbed the late goals to settle a hard-fought clash. The victory gave the 2010 runners-up a 100 percent record after earlier wins against Spain and Australia.
Spain defeated Australia 3-0 in Group B’s dead rubber, with David Villa, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata scoring. Villa, 32, took his Spanish record goals tally to 59 in his 97th appearance.

Monday results
Australia 0 Spain 3
Chile 0 Holland 2
Cameroon 1 Brazil 4
Croatia 1 Mexico 3
second 2nd fixtures
Brazil v Chile
Netherlands v Mexico