World Cup

Vanquished Cameroon face Brazil

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Oscar (R) celebrates with Ramires after scoring a goal against Croatia. Brazil meet already eliminated Cameroon at the Estádio Nacional de Brasília tonight. PHOTO BY AFP 

By Mark Namanya in Brazil

Posted  Monday, June 23   2014 at  01:00

In Summary

Their preparations were set back by a row over bonuses before they accepted to travel. In the two group games they lost by a combined total of five goals against none, they have been a pale shadow of the side that once carried aloft African pride at the global showpiece

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Rio de Janeiro.

Every Brazil fan admits the Selecao are struggling. Every Brazil fan also understands that they have no divine right to winning.
After seeing the trend of upsets at the tournament with Spain, England, Italy and Uruguay beaten, they know the 2014 World Cup will be no walkover.

Cameroon lie in wait for the Group A leaders and only a brave man can predict anything but defeat for the Indomitable Lions.
The African side have looked out of their depth in every department and probably can’t wait to board the plane back to Yaounde.

Their preparations were set back by a row over bonuses before they accepted to travel. In the two group games they lost by a combined total of five goals against none, they have been a pale shadow of the side that once carried aloft African pride at the global showpiece.
They have been a shambles in defence, lackadaisical in midfield and sloppy upfront.
A red card to Alex Song in the 4-0 reverse to Croatia compounded their misery.

Brazil, despite drawing blanks against Mexico, need only a point to book a second round place.

But after the frustration of the Mexico stalemate, Luis Felipe Scolari’s side will be keen to reach the second round with a statement of intent. But for Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, Neymar could have had a couple among the opportunities Brazil failed to convert.

The five-time world champions are yet to deliver a dominant performance at this tournament, something that is keeping their fans edgy.
If the team don’t deliver one against the worst Cameroon team ever to play at a Fifa World Cup, the fans’ concerns will be legitimate.
The match will be played simultaneously with the Mexico-Croatia encounter.

Mexico will qualify with a point while Croatia must fashion how to score maximum points to reach the second round.
In the day’s other matches, already qualified sides Holland and Chile meet to decide who finishes top of Group B.
At the same time, Australia and Spain will be playing their final matches in Brazil before flying back home.

PLAYING TODAY
Cameroon v Brazil
Estádio Nacional de Brasília (11pm)
Croatia v Mexico
Arena Pernambuco, Recife (11pm)