Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 24th 2014 Contents BRASILIA---Neymar lived up to the
expectations of the World Cup host nation
yesterday, scoring two goals as Brazil rout-
ed Cameroon 4-1 to reach the knockout
stage as the top team in Group A.
Fred and Fernandinho added second-half
goals for Brazil, which will face South Amer-
ican rival Chile in the second round.
Neymar netted twice in the first half, on
either side of midfielder Joel Matip s goal
for Cameroon in the 26th minute.
He opened the scoring off a low cross by
midfielder Luiz Gustavo in the 17th, deftly
side-footing the ball home from close range,
then restored the lead with a low right-foot
strike from the top of the penalty area in
the 35th after a pass by left back Marce-
"If I m not mistaken this is our best game
yet," Neymar said. "Everyone deserves con-
gratulations for their efforts until the end."
Fred found the net in the 49th and the
substitute Fernandinho struck in the 84th.
Brazil finished Group A with seven points
after two wins and a draw. It ended with
the same points as Mexico, but had a better
goal difference. The Mexicans eliminated
Croatia with a 3-1 win in Recife.
Playing in its 100th World Cup match,
Brazil needed at least a draw to advance.
Elimination in the group stage would have
been unthinkable for the five-time world
champions playing at home. The only team
to play in all 20 World Cups, Brazil has
advanced to the second round in every tour-
nament since 1970.
Boosted by a crowd of nearly 69,112 at
the Estadio Nacional in the nation s capital,
Brazil began the match pressuring Cameroon
and created many scoring chances early.
But the African team eventually picked up
the pace and was able to keep the hosts
from threatening too much.
Despite playing without Samuel Eto o
because of a lingering right knee injury,
Cameroon had a few good chances, even
when the match was level in the first half.
It was Neymar who got on the board first,
neatly finding the net after Gustavo stole
the ball on the left flank and sent a low
cross into the area.
Cameroon equalised after a nice run by
Allan Nyom ended with Matip s goal, but
Neymar again showed he is carrying the
hopes of the entire nation, running toward
the area and then moving to his right in
front of a couple of defenders before firing
a low shot into the net.
The 22-year-old Barcelona striker had
already been decisive in the 3-1 opening
win over Croatia, when he also scored twice
while Brazil was struggling.
Brazil improved in the second half and
Fred, who had been loudly criticized for his
lackluster performances, got his first goal
of the tournament with a header from close
range after a cross by defender David Luiz
from the left. Cameroon players complained
Fernandinho, who replaced Paulinho in
the second half, closed the scoring after
Oscar stole possession from a Cameroon
defender near the area. Quick passes by
Fred and Oscar set up the midfielder s toe
poke from short range. (AP)
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Cameroon 1 (Joel Matip 26) vs Brazil 4 (Neymar 17,
34, Fred 49, Fernandinho 84)
Croatia 1 (Ivan Perisic 87) vs Mexico 3 (Rafael
Marquez 72, Andres Guardado 75, Javier Hernandez
Australia 0 vs Spain 3 (David Villa 36, Fernando
Torres 69, Juan Mata 82)
Netherlands 2 (Leroy Fer 77, Memphis Depay 90+1)
vs Chile 0
How they finished
Brazil, Mexico, Netherlands, Chile into 16
Japan vs Colombia, Cuiaba, 4 pm
Juan Cuadrado (3) has now provided more assists at
a single World Cup than any other Colombian player
James Rodriguez has scored in each of his last four
appearances for Colombia.
Japan have scored only one goal in their last three
World Cup matches.
Greece vs Ivory Coast, Fortaleza, 4 pm
This will be the first ever meeting between Greece
and Ivory Coast.
Greece's previous World Cup games against African
opposition were both against Nigeria, losing in 1994
(0-2) and winning in 2010 (2-1).
Greece have failed to score in seven of their eight
World Cup games while their clean sheet last time
out against Japan was their first ever at a World
The Ivorians have scored in seven of their eight
World Cup games.
Italy vs Uruguay, Natal, noon
Italy have managed just two wins in nine previous
attempts against Uruguay (incl. 1980 Copo d'Oro, D4
Uruguay last faced Italy in the 2013 Confederations
Cup; they were beaten for the third place, by way of
a penalty shootout.
Italy have lost only three of their 19 World Cup
games against South American opposition - round 1
game against Chile in 1962, the 1970 final and the
1978 third place game against Brazil.
Uruguay have faced Italy twice in the World Cup;
they failed to score in both matches (D1 L1).
England vs Costa Rica, Belo Horizonte, noon
Costa Rica have scored in all seven of their previous
World Cup meetings with teams from Europe.
England have been eliminated at the first group
stage of a World Cup for the first time since 1958.
England have conceded eight goals in their last three
World Cup games, as many as the previous 14 games
Honduras vs Switzerland, Manaus, 4 pm
Ecuador vs France, Rio de Janeiro, 4 pm
Nigeria vs Argentina, Porto Alegre, noon
Iran vs Bosnia, Salvador, noon
WORLD CUP GLANCE
Samba sizzles in Brasilia
Chile no answer for Van Gaal's Oranje
SAO PAULO---Two substitutes, two
Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal can,
it seems, do no wrong at this World Cup.
He sent on replacements Leroy Fer and
Memphis Depay in the second half of the
match against Chile yesterday and they
scored both goals in a 2-0 win that con-
firmed the Dutch as Group B winners with
a maximum nine points.
"It is luck," Van Gaal himself said about
his super substitutions. "Just luck."
But it was more than that. Fer, listed by
FIFA as 6 feet 2 inches (188 cm) tall, scored
with a header a minute after coming on as
a substitute for the 5-foot-6-inch (171 cm)
"I know Leroy Fer is tall compared with
our opponents. I know he can head the ball
well," Van Gaal said.
Then there was Depay.
"We analyzed that Chile in the last 15
minutes gives away more room," Van Gaal
said. "If you have a creative player in at that
moment, you have the chance to use that
Manchester United, which hired Van Gaal
to restore its fortunes after a disastrous sea-
son by the club s lofty standards, must be
delighted even if it has to wait a bit longer
for him to join them after the World Cup.
Chile, one of the most attacking and
attractive teams at the World Cup, had no
answer at the Itaquerao Stadium, especially
not without midfielder Arturo Vidal who
watched from the bench.
"I played the best team I had," said Chile
coach Jorge Sampaoli.
Juventus star Vidal had knee surgery
before the tournament and had a sore
Achilles tendon but said a day before the
match he felt fit and ready to play.
Both teams had already advanced to the
second round, but Chile s first loss of the
tournament consigned it to second place in
The Dutch now travel to Fortaleza to play
the Group A runner-up in the round of 16.
Chile faces the Group A winner in Belo
Group A leader Brazil was playing already-
eliminated Cameroon later Monday and
Mexico faced Croatia in the other match.
Chile began with its trademark fast,
attacking style while the Dutch, with a five-
man defense, looked content to sit back,
absorb the pressure and break out with swift
The match marked the first time at this
World Cup the Netherlands had played in
its national color, but the change of jerseys
didn t change its fortunes.
Vidal s absence deprived Chile of midfield
creativity and it struggled to break down
the well-drilled Dutch defense.
Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez tried
to fill the gap left by Vidal, but couldn t
find a way through. He came closest to
scoring in the second half with a powerful
shot that Jasper Cillessen easily blocked at
his near post.
"I m very proud of this team," Robben
The Netherlands was playing without
suspended captain and striker Robin van
Persie and was also missing defender Bruno
Martins Indi, who suffered a concussion in
the team s last match, a tough 3-2 victory
over Australia in Porto Alegre.
No problem for inspirational coach Van
Gaal, who pulled a tactical surprise with
his starting lineup---reverting to the 5-3-2
formation he began with against Spain and
posting veteran forward Dirk Kuyt, in his
99th international, at left back.
Then came Van Gaal s substitutions.
Fer headed in powerfully and Depay dou-
bled his World Cup tally in stoppage time.
Robben delayed his cross from the left clev-
erly until the PSV Eindhoven striker arrived
at the far post --- also delaying his run by
a split second to shrug off his marker---to
tap in an inch-perfect pass. (AP)
Brazil's Neymar, left, and Cameroon's Allan Nyom challenge for the ball during the group A
World Cup soccer match between Cameroon and Brazil at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia,
Brazil, yesterday. Brazil won the match 4-1. AP PHOTO
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