At the start of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, Cameroon legend and ex-Barcelona forward Samuel Eto’o made a bold declaration that Cameroon would be World champions come December, but that prophecy appears to be in the mud after the Indomitable Lions fell to a first round exit despite an improbable win over the mighty Brazil.
Qatar 2022: An indomitable performance not enough as World Cup favourites crash out in group stage after historic defeat of Brazil
Cameroon gave a good account of themselves, but could not help actualize the prophecy of their football Federation chairman Samuel Eto’o
Cameroon started with a surprising twist to their line-up, with a completely new centre-back pairing, leaving out both Jean-Charles Castelletto, who has been one of their best players, and Nicolas N'Koulou for 23-year-old Udinese defender Enzo Ebosse and 21-year-old Rennes defender Christopher Wooh, who had combined for five international caps before the start of the 2022 World Cup.
Brazil, who have already qualified for the second round, started the game with nine new players coming into their squad from the game against Switzerland, with only Eder Militao and Fred retaining a spot in the starting XI.
Despite resting the majority of their regular starters, Brazil looked the better side and threatened to break the deadlock on several occasions.
They mostly fell short in the most crucial moments as their young attack, which included Manchester United's Antony (22yrs), Real Madrid's Rodrygo Goes (21yrs), and Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli (21yrs), failed to seize their opportunities.
Cameroon’s biggest chance of the first half came through Bryan Mbeumo, whose header in added time of the first half tested Ederson, who was equal to the task.
Mbeumo's effort was the first shot on target that Brazil conceded at the 2022 World Cup and put some pep in the step of the indomitable Lions.
Knowing that they still had a chance to qualify gave Cameroon the incentive to come out for the second half guns blazing, but as news of Switzerland taking the lead against Serbia frittered through, it killed the desire in the Indomitable Lions to fight for a win over Brazil, and the game took on the familiar tone of the first half.
Brazil attacked and Cameroon did whatever they could to stay alive as traditional goalkeeper Devis Epassy remained the only thing standing between Cameroon and a resounding defeat.
His steadfastness in goal was rewarded in the second minute of extra time as Vincent “better than Mo Salah” Aboubakar scored what proved to be the winner for Cameroon to help them to a famous win over Brazil to take them to four points in the group.
Incredibly, Aboubakar celebrated by taking his shirt off despite already being on a yellow card and was sent off for a second yellow card offence.
Aboubakar’s reckless sending-off was placated by the fact that his winning goal did not send Cameroon through to the round of 16 since Switzerland triumphed 3-2 over Serbia to finish second in the group.