Cameroon 1 Brazil 4: Three talking points as Neymar fires hosts through

Cameroon 1 Brazil 4: Three talking points as Neymar scores twice to book his side's place in the World Cup last 16

By Mark McDougall
Cameroon
1
Brazil
4

Brazil’s defence

They might have some of the best attacking talents in the world, but they won’t be world champions unless they can sort out their shambolic defence. Luiz Felipe Scolari has a real problem there because while Dani Alves, David Luiz and Marcelo can all be an attacking threat from defence, they are also a threat to his team with their kamikaze style of football regularly leaving holes that Thiago Silva can’t deal with. That said, Silva’s own performance against Cameroon was far from impressive as he was caught out at the goal by not cutting out a cross that was played across the box exactly where he should have been. Brazil face Chile in the next round and given Chile’s attacking threat Luiz and co could face serious problems unless it is sorted out because you don’t win anything without a solid defence to fall back on.

Neymar the difference

Now Brazil’s sixth top goal-scorer of all time at just 22, the Barcelona forward is truly proving his worth at this World Cup. He is the poster boy for the tournament and he’s living up to expectation by almost single-handedly dragging Brazil through to the next round with two very impressive performances against Croatia and Cameroon. There was a slight blip against Mexico in between but we’ll forget that one and concentrate on his good games. His performances have been a standout in an otherwise average Brazil performance so far at the World Cup. While his team-mates succumb to the pressure placed on them by the Brazilian public, Neymar is taking the game by the scruff of the neck and has four goals to his name already, leaving defences terrorised with his fancy footwork.

Hulk

He’s nicknamed Hulk, but the Zenit St Petersburg attacker has been anything but incredible so far at this World Cup. For such a big guy he gets pushed off the ball so easily and it’s baffling that he still makes it into the Brazil starting 11 ahead of the likes of Ramires, while players such as Lucas Moura and Philippe Coutinho are sitting at home watching the World Cup on their televisions. In the game against Cameroon, the forward missed two glorious opportunities to extend his side’s lead. The first of those came in the first half when he had the opportunity to finish off what would have been one of the best team goals ever scored but sliced his shot into a defender. Then, at the beginning of the second half, he was shoved easily off the ball as he raced through and ended up kicking the ground to sum up a miserable night and miserable tournament so far for him.

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