Connect with us

Tactical Analysis

World Cup Tactical Analysis | Cameroon 1-4 Brazil: Neymar guides the Selecao to the Round of 16

Neymar netted twice to help put Brazil into the last 16 of the World Cup as his side flounced aside Cameroon on Monday night. The Barcelona star was at the crux of every move and scored once either side of a Joel Matip strike to ensure the Selecao would continue their World Cup campaign on home soil. Brazil No. 9, Fred finally got off the mark with his first World Cup goal in eight years, and although it should have been ruled offside, it stood and will give the Fluminense striker a major uplift. His goal gave Brazil some extra cushion, only to be topped by Fernandinho, who came on for Paulinho and added the clincher late to give Brazil an extra boost on its way out of the group stage.

New Picture (3) (1)

Formations & Line-ups

Cameroon (4-3-3):Itandje, Nyom, Matip, N’Koulou, Bedimo, Enoh, Moukandjo (Salli 58’), M’bia, N’Guemo, Choupo-Moting (Makoun 81’), Aboubakar (Webo 72’).

Brazil (4-2-3-1):Julio Cesar, DaniAlves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo, Paulinho (Fernandinho 46’), Luiz Gustavo, Hulk (Ramires 63’), Oscar, Neymar (Wllian 71’), Fred.

Goals: Matip 26’; Neymar 17’, 35’, Fred 49’, Fernandinho 84’.

ANALYSIS

Cameroon’s new tactics fall flat

Much has been said about Cameroonian Coach, Volker Finke’s newly employed tactics. In the friendly against Germany on 1st June, these tactics worked brilliantly for his team, only to be trounced in their opening World Cup games against Mexico & Croatia owing to disintegration within the team and Alex Song’s dismissal. Against Germany, they sat back, broke up the game with a plethora of defensive midfielders, averted any threat with their strong back line, and broke out using their pace on the wings. It really worked. They had deciphered the issue of a lack of a creative force in midfield, with the raw physical ability of the front three making up for it, and could rely on their defence – probably the most positive aspect of the team until this point – to imbibe the pressure.

RELATED ARTICLES

WCB2-468x60

Against Brazil, an inability to keep possession in midfield allowed Cameroon to carve out a number of chances, one of which was converted by Joel Matip to equalise in the first half. Defensive lapses abounded. Barring that, these tactics failed to disrupt their opponents’ attacking prowess. M’Bia, who was employed to sit deep in a 4-1-4-1 setup, and block Neymar’s link up play, failed to do so. Counter attacking opportunities were rare and the team’s anguish without their key players was subjugated by a strong Brazilian display in the attacking third.

Cameroon working the flanks

Cameroon’s approach was to win as many set-pieces as possible and then utilise their physique in the box.They focused most of their attacks down the right side, slipping into the space behind Dani Alves and using a combination of Aboubakar and Choupo-Moting to work lead-ins and pick out runs. Against Croatia, Aboubakar teamed up with Moukandjo on the right to put pressure on Danijel Pranjic, and its clear Finke believed he could have the same exultation using a similar method but that wasn’t the case. They pressed well, forcing mistakes in possession by Oscar,Paulinho and Gustavo to win possession back & create snap-shot chances but the absence of their usual target man upfront, Samuel Eto’o, miffed the Cameroonians and wasted plenty of opportunities.

Brazil’s mid-field balance & stability

Straight from kick-off, Brazil looked like the balanced, menacing outfit we’ve been longing for all tournament. It comes as no quirk that the instant the Selecao emerged to “turn up” was in the game Scolari stopped unnecessarily tampering with his team, employing the exact midfield setup he used to win the Confederations Cup in 2013.

Oscar on the left, drifting into space, dropping in crosses and tracking back; Neymar central, providing drive, conqueringmarkers and linking play; Hulk on the right, wideningplay and providing an outlet for the ball.Within a minute, Hulk had drawn a foul on the right after a sloping pass found him; his strength and ability down that flank hindered the opponent’s wing play – their key tactic. Luis Gustavo held things together in the centre of the park. His obstinate play against the Africans was complimented by smart attacking instincts – his steals, runs and the assist for Neymar’s opening goal was a major highlight of Brazil’s build-up play.

Key Player of the Match

Neymar |As it has been for most of Brazil’s campaign this World Cup, the trend continued with their star-man pitching in for an otherwise evident void upfront. Against a spirited but limited Cameroon, Neymar on his own was more than enough. His role as a problem-solver in this Brazil side is an accustomed one, but for 70 minutes his team-mates were giving him plenty of work and his work rate was up to it. Neymar dominated the gameplay particularly down the left in the opening minutes but found himself in the middle of the box on all the right occasions. His spectacular link-up with Oscar gives Scolari the suppleness of metamorphosing a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3 while going forward. Neymar ensured his team ended the group stages on a rapturous high. Certainly, the Barcelona forward has tapped in to the sentiment and warmth of the World Cup.

Where does this leave them?

The score line insinuated a rout, but for long periods the performance told another story. Much like the new stadiums they are playing in, Brazil’s tournament is becoming a battle against time: a building job that remains fragmentary with just days to go until deadline. And of course there was jubilation at the end, but it was mitigated somewhat: perhaps by the knowledge that Brazil’s short comings would be more effectively exposed by the first good team they faced. It remains to be seen if Brazil’s bid to secure their sixth World Cup on home soil will fall on flinty ground. They will now face fellow South Americans, Chile in the second round.

As for their opponents who did put up a fight in the first half, Cameroon bid farewell to the competition after finishing at the bottom of their group with zero points from three outings. It would be specious to state that Cameroonian football has become the nervous wreck of African football; unlike many other countries, notably South Africa, they do at least typically qualify for the finals. The problem is what happens when they get there, for Cameroon is a story of misspent potential. The squad needs major rebuilding and Finke, if he stays in charge, faces several challenges to deal with, the rift between his own players being the primary concern.

This piece was written by Aman Sardana. Follow him on Twitter @amans95

Read all our World Cup 2014 content here

Aman Sardana

Aman Sardana

Engineer in the making. Technophile & complete gadget nerd. Love English football; Chelsea maniac and huge fan of Mourinho & his tactics.
Aman Sardana

100 to Watch

Latest

Talent Radar1 day ago

La Liga’s 10 Young Breakthrough Players to Watch in 2017-18

Tom Canton lists out the 10 young players to watch in the 2017-18 La Liga season, who could have a...

Tactical Analysis3 days ago

Tactical Analysis: Juventus 2-3 Lazio | Simone Inzaghi exposes Juventus’ 4-2-3-1 weaknesses

Cheuk Hei Ho writes a detailed tactical analysis about the Italian Super Cup final that finished Juventus 2-3 Lazio

Tactical Analysis3 days ago

Tactical Analysis: Arsenal 4-3 Leicester City | Attacking Patterns & Transitions

Kaushik Goswami writes a detailed tactical analysis about the Premier League opener that finished Arsenal 4-3 Leicester City

Talent Radar4 days ago

Premier League’s 10 Young Breakthrough Players to Watch in 2017-18

William Sinsky brings you 10 players that could enjoy breakthrough campaigns in the Premier League this season. It’s back. The...

Tactical Analysis4 days ago

Tactical Analysis: Real Madrid 2-0 Barcelona | Real’s Pressing Excellence

Om Arvind writes a detailed tactical analysis about the Spanish Super Cup second leg that finished Real Madrid 2-0 Barcelona...

Talent Radar5 days ago

Serie A’s 10 Young Breakthrough Players to Watch in 2017-18

Simone Torricini brings you 10 players that could enjoy breakthrough campaigns in the Serie A this season. The Under-20 World...

Tactical Analysis5 days ago

Tactical Analysis: Manchester United 4-0 West Ham | Fluidity and exploitation

Ryan Quinn writes a detailed tactical analysis about the Premier League game that finished Manchester United 4-0 West Ham Following the signings...

Talent Radar1 week ago

Eredivisie’s 10 Young Breakthrough Players to Watch in 2017-18

Mosope Ominiyi brings you 10 players that could enjoy breakthrough campaigns in the Eredivisie this season. Justin Kluivert // Ajax...

Talent Radar2 weeks ago

Primeira Liga’s 10 Young Breakthrough Players to Watch in 2017-18

Jose Miguel Saraiva brings you 10 players that could enjoy breakthrough campaigns in the Primeira Liga this season.

Scout Report2 weeks ago

Scout Report: Ainsley Maitland-Niles | Arsenal’s Versatile Prospect

Mosope Ominiyi provides a detailed scout report on Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Arsenal’s versatile prospect. Arsene Wenger announced that along with 17-year-old winger...

Specials2 weeks ago

Lazio’s Golden Age: The Sergio Cragnotti Era

Football News 24/7  Sam McKeever has a look back at Lazio’s golden era in the 90’s under the ownership of Sergio...

Opinions2 weeks ago

Analysis: Why Nemanja Matic could be Manchester United’s most important signing

Kaushik Goswami has a look at why Nemanja Matic could be Manchester United’s most important signing. Having already lured Romelu...

Opinions3 weeks ago

Monaco’s Moves: Why the Football World should pay attention

While the football world is focused on the players being sold by Monaco, Alex Lynch has a look at how...

Scout Report3 weeks ago

Scout Report: Joel Pereira | Manchester United’s Agile Goalkeeper

Mateus Carvalho provides a comprehensive scout report on Joel Pereira, Manchester United’s agile goalkeeper. At the end of the last season, José...

Talent Radar3 weeks ago

Talent Radar: CONCACAF Gold Cup 2017 | U-23 Team of the Tournament

Football News 24/7  Jose Miguel Saraiva gives us his U-23 Team of the recently concluded CONCACAF Gold Cup featuring the...

Opinions3 weeks ago

Blindside Movements And Mental Overloads: Breaking Down Maurizio Sarri’s Tactics

Cheuk Hei Ho breaks down Maurizio Sarri’s tactics at Napoli looking at how the Italian giants use passing, blindside movements,...

Opinions3 weeks ago

Bayern Munich: What’s their game plan?

Alankrith Shankar writes a detailed article of how we can expect Bayern Munich to set up in the 2017-18 season....

Scout Report3 weeks ago

Scout Report: Juan Foyth | Estudiantes’ Ball-Playing Defender

Kaustubh Pandey provides a detailed scout report about Juan Foyth, Estudiantes’ ball-playing defender. Argentina has, since time immemorial, been a...

Scout Report4 weeks ago

Scout Report: Dayot Upamecano | RB Leipzig’s Precocious Talent

Mateus Carvalho provides a detailed scout report about Dayot Upamecano, RB Leipzig’s precocious talent. RB Leipzig is a source of...

Scout Report4 weeks ago

Scout Report: Philip Billing | Huddersfield’s young midfielder

Patrick Mills provides a detailed scout report about Philip Billing, Huddersfield’s young midfielder. Against the odds, Huddersfield Town, one of the...

Talent Radar Award History

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Young Player Rankings 16-17

More on Outside of the Boot