FIFA World Cup: Brazil shocked by Cameroon, but still qualify with Switzerland

Cameroon struck in stoppage time to beat Brazil, while Switzerland put three past a leaky Serbian defense to win their last match of Group G. However, the results had no real impact on the group, as Brazil and Switzerland both qualified for the Round of 16. This is the third World Cup in a row where the Swiss have progressed past the group stage.

Serbia needed to win to qualify for the knockouts, while Switzerland could afford to watch the Brazil-Cameroon result in hopes of advancing to the next round.

The Swiss drew first blood as evergreen Xherdan Shaqiri hit the Serbian hopes with a powerful drive in the 20th minute. Despite being a goal behind, Serbia can draw hope from a manic World Cup group stage that saw giants fall and results fluctuate across the board.

It was therefore no surprise that the Serb struck twice in quick succession. The first goal came from Aleksandar Mitrovic, who hit home with a header that he promptly placed into the far bottom corner.

The equalizer in the bag, Serbia was again allowed into the game, as well as the group, as the Swiss’s lackluster defense led to another Serbian chance.

This time it was Shaqiri who lost possession in midfield. Dusan Tadic, a pillar of Ajax who is always good for a defensive pass, managed to slip in a ball. The Swiss defense should have cleared the ball easily, but instead gave possession to Dusan Vlahovic.

The Juventus striker took a shot with the left and pushed the ball past keeper Gregor Kobel. Suddenly, Serbia went from last place in Group G to second place.

But that scenario was short-lived as the Swiss struck again, this time through Breel Embolo, who had a simple tap to score well as the first half drew to a close thanks to a pass from Silvan Widmer. This is Embolo’s fourth goal in five consecutive games for his country.

The breathless first half was the complete opposite of the other match in Group G. Brazil, who started the second series, after qualifying for the next round, found themselves in a goalless situation against Cameroon going into half-time. A victory for Cameroon would complicate things in the group, as with almost all other group stage matches.

The Swiss started their second half as they finished the first. Shaqiri was also at the center of this move. The winger received a back pass from Embolo and then gave a delicate thought about the Serbian defense.

That ball over the top was caught by Ruben Vargas who matched Shaqiri’s skill with a deft no-look heel pass that reached Remo Frueler, who converted to give Switzerland the lead, as well as second on the group back.

The Serbs were now looking at a mountain with two goals to climb. And it was a mountain they wouldn’t climb. Towards the end of the game the Serbs slowed down, the third goal having taken the wind out of their sails.

On the other side of Doha, Cameroon struck in stoppage time. A cross from Ngom Mbekeli from the right was met by Vincent Aboubakar, who slid between Brazil’s centre-backs and was rewarded for his stealth. Although they lost, Brazil still managed to take first place in Group G thanks to their superior goal difference.

A World Cup filled with a group stage of great intensity finally came to an end. Brazil and Switzerland became the last teams to advance to the knockout stage. Cameroon went down with a victory. Serbia, touted for going far in the tournament, fell at the first hurdle.

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