Cameroon beat Brazil 1-0 at the Lusail Stadium on Friday, capping off an impressive World Cup run that spanned 20 years thanks to a late goal from captain Vincent Aboubakar.
Brazil nonetheless topped Group G, ahead of Switzerland on goal difference, despite already having qualified thanks to victories over Serbia and Switzerland. Brazil will now face Group H runners-up South Korea, who defeated Portugal 2-1, in the next round.
Cameroon, whose previous World Cup victory came against Saudi Arabia in 2002, played poorly for the majority of the game but rallied to win it late. After beating Ederson with a header, Aboubakar was dismissed for receiving a second caution for dissent.
Brazil’s reserves were anxious to make an impression, but Tite’s team was unable to display their customary flair as the game unfolded in the imposing Lusail Stadium, the largest arena of the tournament.
The most animated player for Brazil was Gabriel Martinelli, who came close to giving the five-time champions the lead in the 14th minute after being found by Fred’s ball over the top. However, Devis Epassy made a superb save in response to the Arsenal forward’s header.
Up until the final seconds of the first half, when Bryan Mbeumo met Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu’s cross with a thunderous downward header, Cameroon posed almost no offensive danger. Ederson deftly clawed the ball away with one hand while stretching.
Soon after the break, Tite decided that was enough and made a triple substitution, substituting Marquinho for the injured Alex Telles and Everton Ribeiro and Bruno Guimaraes for Rodrygo and Fred.
Brazil now had a flurry of opportunities as a result of the substitutes, forcing Epassy to play three times in as many minutes.
In the 56th minute, Martinelli fired a quick shot that pricked the Cameroon goalkeeper in the hands.
After the Cameroon goalkeeper recovered from his blunder to scramble the ball out to safety, Eder Militao tried his luck again from the subsequent corner.
lively Antony got in on the act, forcing Epassy into a diving save to keep out his curling effort.
Tite sent on Pedro in the 64th minute and Rafinha in the 79th as Brazil sought to save their perfect record in the group, but Cameroon clung on until Aboubakar arrived in the right place at the right time to seize his moment.