Wednesday Feb 1, 2023
Wednesday Feb 1, 2023

Cameroon: First African team to beat Brazil at World Cup


Nepalnews
AP
2022 Dec 03, 8:43, Qatar
Cameroon's head coach Rigobert Song listen to national anthem prior the World Cup group G soccer match between Cameroon and Brazil, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. (AP Photo)

Cameroon coach Rigobert Song came full circle on a memorable and bittersweet night for African soccer.

Jerome Ngom Mbekeli, the only member of Cameroon’s team who plays for a Cameroonian club, made an inspiring run and cross to set up Vincent Aboubakar’s header and stoppage-time winner in a 1-0 victory to make the Indomitable Lions the first African nation to beat Brazil at a World Cup.

Despite the victory on Friday, Cameroon finished third in its group and was eliminated.

The 24-year-old Ngom Mbekeli was Cameroon’s final substitution, coming on four minutes from time. Song credited his own former coach, Henri Michel, for giving him an opportunity in 1994 when he played for local club Tonnerre Yaoundé as he was making his World Cup debut.

Goalkeeper Devis Epassy — thrust into action after usual starter Andre Onana was sent home for disciplinary reasons after a dispute with Song before Cameroon’s previous game — earned player of the match honors for a series of difficult saves.

Both Epassy and Aboubakar play for clubs in Saudi Arabia.

With eight goals in seven games, the 22-year-old Aboubakar was the top scorer at the African Cup of Nations in January.

Song and Samuel Eto’o, Cameroon’s soccer federation president, are instilling a strict discipline policy modeled after the European clubs that they once played for — Song as a reliable defender and Eto’o as a standout striker.

Cameroon players celebrate after scoring the opening goal during the World Cup group G soccer match between Cameroon and Brazil, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. (AP Photo)
Cameroon players celebrate after scoring the opening goal during the World Cup group G soccer match between Cameroon and Brazil, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. (AP Photo)

While Brazil had already advanced and used mostly reserves, Cameroon still became the first team to beat the five-time champion in the World Cup group stage since Norway did it at the 1998 tournament in France — ending an unbeaten run of 17 group matches.

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Cameroon first African team beat Brazil World Cup Rigobert Song memorable bittersweet
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