Brazil vs Cameroon: Luis Felipe Scolari admits second round meeting with Chile is far from the ideal draw after Cameroon expose host's defensive frailties
Brazil overcame a resilient Cameroon side 4-1 thanks to an individual master class from Neymar to set-up an all-South American clash with Chile
Tuesday 24 June 2014
Shortly before Christmas, when Luiz Felipe Scolari sat down for an interview with a Brazilian magazine, a question about who he didn’t want to face in the second round arose. His answer was a telling one.
“Some people thought Chile would be eliminated,” he said here in Brasilia last night when the issue of his answer was brought up. “That wasn’t going to happen, they are really good. If I could choose I’d have picked someone else because Chile are more difficult. They’ve quality, organisation, will.”
Watching Brazil’s victory over Cameroon, despite the 4-1 scoreline, Chile have a real chance too. Especially after seeing perhaps the worst side of the tournament in Cameroon go toe-to-toe with Brazil in the first half and come out standing. “For the defence, I don’t have a single drop of fear, they are fantastic,” argued the manager against all the evidence we’d witnessed. “I was a great defensive player myself and sometimes people managed to challenge me but I don’t have fear.”
Of course that’s far from Brazil’s only issue. It’s a question the nation doesn’t want to consider, but after another game-defining performance by Neymar, you can’t but help wonder what happens when he doesn’t play to this level. “Is Argentina dependent on Messi?” retorted Scolari.
“Other teams depend on one player or another and that’s okay, players play differently. Star players make a difference for any team, not just Brazil... But I enjoyed seeing the team today, the ups and down, with the pressure. After we scored the goal we were a little bit nervous. We are too quick to show too much early in a game, we need to be calm, go along with the game and get the result. And we can’t afford now to give the opponent a chance, we have to have a very balanced way of playing, we have to really think on how we are going to play because sometimes one goal will decide it. We cannot make that many mistakes.”
Especially now it’s do-or-die against the nation he least wanted to face.
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