Cameroon will have the challenge of defeating Brazil to keep their 2022 World Cup hopes alive, with the teams clashing in a Group G fixture at the Lusail Iconic Stadium on Friday 2 December, kick-off at 21:00 CAT.
Cameroon put up a fighting performance to come from two goals down and hold Serbia 3-3 on Monday, with substitute Vincent Aboubakar rising off the bench to score one and assist another as the Central Africans just about kept themselves in the hunt for the last 16 of the tournament.
Yet, with just a point to their name, they have to beat their opponents in this game to have any hope of advancing beyond the group stage for the first time since 1990.
And even that may not be enough, depending on the result of the other Group G game between Switzerland and Serbia which will be played simultaneously at Stadium 974.
“It is possible to beat Brazil. We believe in ourselves, we did not come here to just go through the motions. Cameroon still has a contribution to make to this tournament,” said coach Rigobert Song.
Brazil, by contrast, are already assured of a place in the next round, backing up their opening 2-0 win over Serbia with a 1-0 triumph over Switzerland in which defensive midfielder Casemiro was the unlikely hero.
A Selecao will continue to be without injured playmaker Neymar, and coach Tite could well opt to rest other key players in order to keep them fresh and avoid further injury concerns ahead of the knockout phase of the tournament.
“Of course Neyamr is different, he’s a player who has the quality to do unexpected things,” said Tite. “The rest of the players aspire to be there. We miss him, of course, he has a lot of creativity, but we have other players eager to take advantage of his opportunity.”
In head-to-head stats, Cameroon and Brazil have met in six previous international matches. A Selecao have claimed five wins compared to one for the Indomitable Lions, with the teams’ most recent clash a November 2018 friendly in England which Brazil won 1-0.
A Selecao have a perfect record against African teams at the World Cup, with seven wins from as many matches, while the Indomitable Lions have recorded one win, two draws and two defeats from five games against South American opposition at the tournament.