Brazil are on to the next round, as expected, after closing out Group A play with a 4-1 victory over Cameroon on Monday in Brasilia behind Neymar's first-half brace. And they will go through as group champions, despite some late concerns over goal differential, to meet Group B runners-up Chile in the Round of 16.
NEYMAR I: Luiz Gustavo's cross from the left flank was a thing of beauty, splitting the defense and finding Neymar in space, and Brazil's star made his finish look deceptively simple. Neymar opened his body, made one touch with the inside of his right foot and directed the ball into the lower right corner of the goal to put the hosts up 1-0 in the 17th.
INDOMITABLE CROSS: Nine minutes after that, a determined effort from the left corner helped the Indomitable Lions equalize. Dani Alves blocked Allan Nyom's first attempt to cross, but Nyom stayed with the play and sent the ball back in again. Defender Joel Matip, unmarked within two yards, was waiting for it near the far post for the easy tap-in – and the first goal conceded by Brazil in Brasilia since 1987.
NEYMAR II: If his first goal showed off his clinical side, Neymar's second showed his creativity in making and exploiting space. In the 34th minute, he took a pass from Marcelo, cut right into the center of the pitch, and drove his shot home through traffic to make it 2-1.
NO FLAG FOR FRED: Fred, who drew a hotly debated penalty in Brazil's 3-1 opening win against Croatia, finally opened his scoring account in the 49th minute – but again, not without controversy. He looked to be slightly offside when David Luiz's cross was played in, but the flag stayed down and Fred nodded the ball down and in for a 3-1 lead.
FERNANDINHO LOCKS IT UP: Things were getting a bit tense for Brazil in the closing minutes, after Mexico went up 3-0 on Croatia in the other group-stage finale. One more goal for El Tri at that point, or another for Cameroon, would have dropped Brazil to second place and matched them against the Netherlands in the round of 16. Halftime sub Fernandinho toe-poked home an insurance score in the 84th minute, though, securing the top of the group for the Cup hosts.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Neymar, F, Brazil. He got good service from the guys around him, and he didn't waste it. Neymar took just four shots in his 71-minute shift, putting all four on frame and netting twice. It was pretty at times, efficient all the time..