Brazil has confirmed top spot in Group A at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, comfortably driving a nail into the coffin of African qualifier Cameroon with an impressive 4-1 victory at the Estadio Nacional de Brasilia this morning.
Having drawn their second match at the 2014 World Cup when held scoreless by a spirited Mexico last week, Brazil were aiming to lay on as many goals as possible to ensure they finish atop their pool and face the runner up of Group B in the first round of the knockout phase.
Already confirmed to bow out of the World Cup following defeats to Mexico and Croatia in preceding fixtures, Cameroon set out to salvage pride and put in a competitive performance against arguably the world’s best team in their own backyard.
Controlling possession from the opening whistle, Brazil immediately pushed into Cameroon’s half; employing the fast and creative style of play that has won them huge support and respect in recent seasons and immediately testing Itandje’s goal with a combinations of close and long-range efforts.
Appearing to be unable to handle the supreme skill on ball of their South American rivals, Cameroon were exposed early and found themselves well and truly against the odds when exciting youngster Neymar converted Brazil’s first in just the 17th minute.
Appearing far-more aggressive and within their depth upon the restart, Cameroon were able to maintain noticeable periods of possession and began to grow in confidence and they found their way slowly into the Brazilian half.
Exposing a few gaps in the Brazilian defence, Cameroon incredibly levelled the scores when Joel Matip finished off a strong play in the 26th minute.
Reversing the run of play once again, Brazil set up camp in the Lions’ half for the remainder of the proceeding 20 minutes and were unrelenting on the clearly tiring Cameroon defence, putting on a footballing master class that peaked with another Neymar goal in the 35th minute.
Returning from the break in similarly aggressive form, Brazil almost immediately put the game out of reach of the spirited Cameroonians when Fred through his boot in front of a pinpoint accurate cross from attacking defender David Luiz in the 49th minute, pushing the score out to 3-1.
Comfortably overcoming rare counter accounts by Cameroon, Brazil maintained possession for large segments of the second half and cemented their place atop Group A when Fernando Luiz Roza slotted a fourth for his nation in the 84th minute; a score line which was then maintained to the final whistle.
Manager Luiz Felipe Scolari was pleased to finish at the top of Group A at the 2014 World Cup, but conceded his team will need to exhibit a far-more polished 90 minutes against Chile next week, who finished second in Group B after going down 2-0 to The Netherlands.
“We’re making progress day by day, game by game, despite running into a few difficulties and ups and downs,” 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 calm and composure.
“Fortunately we ironed out some flaws at half time 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.”
Having qualified for the knockout phases of the 2014 World Cup, Brazil are currently outright favourites to lift the World Cup on July 13th at even $4 odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.