World Cup 2022: Switzerland through as Cameroon makes African history against Brazil

Lusail, Qatar - Cameroon made history with a win against Brazil, while Switzerland sealed a 3-2 victory in their grudge match with Serbia to snatch a last 16 spot as the Qatar World Cup group stage concluded with another spectacle on Friday.

Switzerland and Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka celebrates his team's qualification to the last 16.
Switzerland and Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka celebrates his team's qualification to the last 16.  © REUTERS

Brazil had already qualified and still ended up top despite a late 1-0 loss to Cameroon, who bow out along with the Serbians despite becoming the first African team to beat the five-time world champions at the tournament.

The result means no team won all their group games in Qatar.

The Swiss will now face Portugal on Tuesday, with Brazil taking on South Korea the day before.

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It is a third straight last-16 qualification at the World Cup for Switzerland, who took the lead through Xherdan Shaqiri. Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Vlahovic then threatened to turn the match in Serbia favor, but Breel Embolo and Remo Freuler in the second half sent Murat Yakin's side through.

Tensions boiled over in injury time and the game ended with a Qatar-high 11 yellow cards, but the Swiss held on comfortably in the end.

Cameroon become first African nation to beat Brazil at World Cup

Vincent Aboubakar (c.) celebrates his winning goal against Brazil.
Vincent Aboubakar (c.) celebrates his winning goal against Brazil.  © REUTERS

Neymar, still out with an injured ankle, was in the Lusail Stadium to watch on while fans produced a choreo wishing Pelé well after his hospital stay.

Cameroon still had an outside shot of being the third African team in the last 16 heading into the game, but initially did not test a shadow Brazil side enough.

The Seleção had the odd chance through Rodrygo and Antony, but not many of the players in the "reserve" team passed their audition.

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One who definitely did was goalkeeper Ederson, who saved superbly from Bryan Mbeumo just before the interval.

The game was drifting towards a goalless draw, but then a familiar name popped up again to make things a bit more exciting. Vincent Aboubakar, who has had an excellent tournament, sent in a header in stoppage time, but then got sent off after being shown a second yellow for taking off his shirt in celebration.

"Today I am proud of my players. Obviously we are disappointed but we can grow because of it," said Song as Cameroon's adventure ended on a bitter-sweet note.

The first knock-out round line-up is now complete with eight European sides, two South American teams, two from Africa, three from the Asian Football Confederation including Australia, and the United States.

Cover photo: Collage: REUTERS

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