Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Brazil rotates well and Cameroon look to survive in Qatar

DOHA ( Associated Press) — Neymar is dedicated to his recovery and with a confirmed ticket to the round of 16, Bresal will have the luxury of taking advantage of his last game of the World Cup group stage to give him substitute minutes.

Coach Tite confirmed all field changes for the duel Verdimerella will play against Cameroon on Friday, with a tie being enough for the five-time champions to finish first in Group G.

For Cameroon, the meeting is of fundamental importance. They need to win this one to keep their chances of progressing. And it may be insufficient, as it depends on the result of the second group game between Switzerland and Serbia.

Brazil lead with six points, three more than Switzerland and five each from Cameroon and Serbia.

Cameroon has been trying to navigate the group stage since their memorable run to the quarter-finals in 1990, when a team led by goalscorer Roger Milla was knocked out by England after extra time in Italy. Cameroon had failed to qualify for Russia four years earlier.

“We are going to be focused and very disciplined for the 90 minutes,” Cameroon coach Rigobert Song said on Thursday. “I want to see the determination and commitment that will allow us to get the three points.”

The Indomitable Lions, who lost to Switzerland in Qatar and then drew with Serbia, could benefit from facing Brazil without any grace.

Tite will use substitutes from top to bottom, with Ederson replacing Alisson as goalkeeper. Veteran right-back Dani Alves will line up on the defensive block and Fabinho in midfield. Antony and Gabriele Martinelli are expected to play in attack.

“There are 26 very high level players in Brazil,” Tite said. “And overall, we have a great team.”

Tite intends to give minutes to seven players who are yet to debut in the tournament.

Star Neymar, right-back Danilo and left-back Alex Sandro are all out with injuries. Neymar continues to receive treatment for a right ankle injury sustained in the opening match against Serbia and it is not yet known when he will be able to play again.

Rotation can be very valuable for Brazil. If they win the group, they will have a Round of 16 duel against Cameroon on Monday, three days after the game. Brazil did not allow a single shot on goal in their first two matches, defeating Serbia 2–0 and Switzerland 1–0.

At 39, Alves will become the oldest Brazilian at the World Cup, surpassing 38-year-old center back Thiago Silva, who wears the captain’s armband in Qatar. Alves last played in the World Cup in the Round of 16 at the 2014 Brazil tournament. The right-back was injured in the run-up to Russia 2018.

Cameroon were in a bit of trouble after a 3–3 draw against Serbia, sending off goalkeeper André Onanda after a brawl with Song.

The Inter Milan goalkeeper was temporarily suspended from the squad for a tactical disagreement with Song that led to him being ruled out of the match against Serbia and leaving Qatar on Monday.

Nation World News Desk
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