Search

World Cup Blog: Give me more of Neymar

07:00 24 June 2014

Brazil

Brazil's Neymar netted twice against Cameroon (pic: Joe Giddens/EMPICS)

EMPICS Sport

Group A: Brazil 4 Cameroon 1; Croatia 1 Mexico 3

“The lad’s a bit special,” cooed ITV commentator Sam Matterface.

Probably the understatement of the tournament thus far as Neymar’s first-half double inspired Brazil to victory in pursuit of their sixth title.

My viewing of this World Cup prior to last night had amounted to the 90 minutes of Holland thrashing Spain, England’s loss to Italy and the final half hour of their defeat against Luis Suarez. This was a good one to settle down to.

Holland had clinched top spot in group B in the early evening fixtures with a 2-0 win over Chile, while dethroned champions Spain bowed out with a 3-0 stroll against Australia’s Socceroos.

And Brazil booked a date with the dark horse Chileans, while Mexico set up a meeting with the Dutch as Cameroon and Croatia were sent home.

Barely two minutes had gone when Paulinho should have opened the scoring, but the Tottenham misfit saw his effort blocked.

Cameroon responded with Victor Aboubakar thudding a shot into the body of Marcelo and a tidy spell of possession from the Indomitable Lions had the home fans whistling soon after as Brazil lived a little dangerously at the back.

But the Africans were also showing their heavy-handed side, evoking memories of their 1-0 opening night giantkilling of Argentina at Italia 90, when they finished with nine men.

Allan Nyom was lucky to escape a booking for a shove on Neymar, who provided the perfect response moments later when expertly guiding a left-wing centre from Luiz Gustavo into the far corner of the net.

A Neymar volley was beaten out by Charles Itandje before Joel Matip clipped the Brazil crossbar with a header from a corner.

And Brazil did not heed the warning as Matip tapped home Nyom’s cross from close range to level.

“Cameroon’s front three have got Brazil on toast,” claimed ITV’s co-commentator Clarke Carlisle, as brief mention was made of the slight possibility the hosts could be eliminated.

But then Neymar restored Brazil’s lead with a sublime low drive, as the Lions backed off to their peril.

“The finish is so technically brilliant,” gushed Ian Wright when analysing Neymar’s first goal during half time.

But Fabio Cannavaro was rendered almost speechless when asked to describe the Brazilian defending for Cameroon’s equaliser.

“Madness for a world-class player,” offered Martin O’Neill as Thiago Silva’s positioning was discussed.

Hulk was denied a third soon after the restart by a superb tackle, before Fred flashed a left-footed drive goalwards for Itandje to palm wide.

But more goals seemed inevitable and Fred headed in Brazil’s third, when he should have been flagged offside.

Concerns remain over their defensive play, however, and the frailty of Neymar, who made way for Willian on 70 minutes after one particularly heavy fall.

Mexico moved 2-0 up over Croatia in Recife, meanwhile, forcing Matterface to begin hypothesising about Brazil possibly missing out on top spot.

“Now it’s getting interesting,” he claimed, as Javier Hernandez added a third to bring the Mexicans level on goal difference with eight minutes to play.

The mild panic abated as Fernandinho toe-poked home Brazil’s fourth, though, before news of a Croatian consolation enabled Matterface to relax once and for all.

Bring on Chile.

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ilford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ilford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ilford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Sport Stories

Yesterday, 18:00
Ashley Chambers of Dagenham & Redbridge is congratulated by Ayo Obileye and his team mates after scoring the second goal against Carlisle (pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO)

Daggers defender will line up against his friend versus Bury

Yesterday, 17:42
Alex Jakubiak, seen here during a loan spell with Watford earlier in the season, has joined the Daggers on a one month youth loan. Joe Giddens/PA

Alex Jakubiak completes Dagenham & Redbridge’s late triple swoop into the loan market.

Yesterday, 16:55
Portsmouth's Patrick Agyemang (centre) playing against Dagenham & Redbridge in their 1-0 Boxing Day win last season at Fratton Park. Pic: Clive Gee/PA

Nathan Green also departs on loan to Conference South side

Yesterday, 16:02
Zavon Hines of Dagenham & Redbridge takes on Durrell Berry of Plymouth Argyle last season, his last match before injury (pic:Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO).

Zavon Hines took part in training today as he continues his comeback from injury

Most read sport

America is responsible for a lot of things – good and bad. The jury’s still out on Black Friday.

From Nigel Farage to George Galloway, it’s been a year of people trying to make a change in politics.

If you’ve taken time off to escape from your boss, you’re not alone.

The judge reckons the PC did not have enough wit to invent the story.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition