Brazil took on Cameroon and Croatia faced Mexico as Group A reached its climax.
BRAZIL AND MEXICO both need a draw to ensure qualification tonight, while Croatia can qualify by beating the Mexicans
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Good evening and welcome tonight’s liveblog.
I’ll have the teams for you momentarily.
Here’s all the team news…
CAMEROON: Itandje, Nkoulou (c), Nguemo, Moukandjo, Aboubakar, Bedimo, Choupo Moting, Mbia, Enoh, Matip, Nyom.
BRAZIL: Julio Cesar, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva (c), David Luiz, Marcelo, Hulk, Paulinho, Fred, Neymar, Oscar, Luiz Gustavo.
CROATIA: Pletikosa, Vrsaljko, Pranjic, Perisic, Corluka, Lovren, Rakitic, Modric, Srna, Mandzukic, Olic.
MEXICO: Ochoa, Rodriguez, Marquez (c), Herrera, Layun, Dos Santos, Moreno, Guardado, Peralta, Aguilar, Vazquez .
At least they have beaten Brazil though.
(Yes, I am watching both games simultaneously.)
Interestingly, Luka Modric will be playing in the number 10 role — far more attacking than usual.
The little Croat has has had a superb tournament so far.
We’re underway in both games…
2 mins: Brazil have had a good positive start to this game.
A chance falls to Paulinho, who has a shot well blocked by Allan Nyom.
Fair to say the Brazil fans have made the effort tonight.
8 mins: Brazil have been well on top early on, but Cameroon have just had a rare chance. Victor Aboubakar finds himself in a promising position on the edge of the box, but his shot deflects off Marcelo and goes harmlessly away from goal.
Shortly before that, the recently under-fire Fred just hit a corner straight into the goalkeeper’s arms.
10 mins: Meanwhile, in the other game, Croatia have had the better of the opening exchanges.
GOAL! Brazil 1-0 Cameroon (Neymar, 16)
Cameroon concede possession sloppily and Luis Gustavo crosses for Neymar, who coolly slots it into the net.
15 mins: Elsewhere, from nowhere, Herrera hits the underside of the bar after a powerful shot from distance.
Mexico are coming into this game more now.
20 mins: Another chance for Brazil after more bad passing by Cameroon, as Paulinho crosses for Fred, who can’t quite bundle it over the line.
Meanwhile, here’s a look at Neymar’s goal.
GOAL! Brazil 1-1 Cameroon (Matip 25)
Cameroon equalise against the run of play. Joel Matip taps it into the empty net after great work down the left from Nyom, who got past Dani Alves all too easily.
Here’s a look at Matip’s surprise goal.
32 mins: Choupo Moting heads just wide from a corner.
Cameroon have noticeably grown in confidence since their goal.
GOAL! Brazil 2-1 Cameroon (Neymar, 33)
The Cameroon defender can only half clear, and Marcelo plays it through to Neymar, who shoots into the corner to get his side back in the lead.
Here’s that Neymar goal. Could the goalkeeper have done better?
40 mins: It’s still 0-0 in the Mexico-Croatia game, but the Central Americans have been the better team.
They’ve created a few half chances of late, after Croatia looked dangerous early on.
45 mins: The ball falls to Hulk from close range, yet his shot is deflected over the bar.
A third Brazil goal would surely end this game as a contest.
HALF-TIME: BRAZIL 2-1 CAMEROON
HALF-TIME: MEXICO 0-0 CROATIA
“It’s as if they’re paralysed by the expectations of the nation… In some ways it’s funny, in others, it’s odd.”
Dunphy is not holding back as usual in his assessment of Brazil.
More gold from Dunphy…
“Brazil are terrible. Hopeless. If Spain was the end of an era, this is the end of the world.”
The second halfs are underway…
48 mins: A dangerous curling free-kick from Neymar produces a fine save from the goalkeeper.
He’s been excellent tonight.
GOAL! Brazil 3-1 Cameroon (Fred, 48)
David Luiz crosses for Fred, who gratefully converts it into the empty net.
Here’s Brazil’s third goal. Should the flag have gone up for offside?
57 mins: Kovacic comes on for Vrsaljko, as Croatia go more attacking in search of a winner.
They still look a little short of inspiration and have just over half an hour to stay in the World Cup.
61 mins: Hernandez has replaced Dos Santos for Mexico in this consistently cagey affair.
The Man United striker is without a goal in his last 11 appearances at international level.
Meanwhile, in the other game, Ramires is on for Hulk.
64 mins: Legitimate shouts for a penalty as Srna clearly blocks a shot with his arm.
From the ensuing corner, Corluka clears off the line.
Mexico are looking increasingly dangerous against a tired-looking Croatia now.
GOAL! Mexico 1-0 Croatia (Marquez, 71)
The ex-Barca man heads in from a corner, seemingly securing Mexico’s place in the second round in the process.
GOAL! Mexico 2-0 Croatia (Guardado, 75)
Croatia lose the ball and are caught on the break, as Guardado fires home following a swift counter-attack to surely end this game as a contest.
Here’s a look at the two Mexico goals…
GOAL! Mexico 3-0 Croatia (Hernandez, 81)
A corner is flicked on and the little striker heads home completely unmarked at the far post to make it 3-0.
GOAL! Brazil 4-1 Cameroon (Fernandinho, 83)
It’s another defensive error from Cameroon, as they concede the ball in their final third, allowing substitute Fernandinho to get through on goal and strike past the goalkeeper.
GOAL! Mexico 3-1 Croatia (Perisic, 86)
Perisic gets in behind the Mexican defence and fires past the goalkeeper, as Croatia grab a consolation.
RED CARD FOR CROATIA (ANTE REBIC, 88)
Rebic loses the ball and then makes a nasty late challenge on his opponent, before deservedly receiving his marching orders as a result.
Some more goals/vines for you…
FULL-TIME: BRAZIL 4-1 CAMEROON
FULL-TIME: MEXICO 3-1 CROATIA
MEXICO AND BRAZIL ADVANCE TO THE LAST 16.
Here’s confirmation of how the group has finished.
Right, that’s a wrap!
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