Current African and Olympic champions Cameroon began their FIFA Confederations Cup campaign in sensational style with a 1-0 victory over world champions Brazil in a Group B encounter on June 19 at the Stade de France in Saint Denis. Samuel Etoo’s goal, ten minutes from time, marked the first ever victory by an African side over South American opponents in the history of the competition.
The stylish midfield trio of Ricardinho, Kléberson and Emerson took hold of the midfield early on and sent Belletti clear on the right time and again. Opportunities were squandered, however, and the sturdy African back line managed to quell any half chances before they materialised. With Ronaldinho in lacklustre form it was left to Bayer Leverkusen star Lúcio to direct traffic through the middle, setting up Adriano who unleashed a powerful drive that brought a sharp save out of Idris Kameni (18´).
As the half progressed Cameroon looked increasingly threatening down the flanks, sending alarm bells through the Brazilian ranks on more than one occasion. On 31 minutes Marc-Vivien Foé saw his header from the penalty spot get swallowed up by Dida’s gloves. Ronaldinho finally woke from his slumbers as the half drew to a close. Setting off from midfield, the PSG playmaker waltzed past four African defenders before seeing his shot go wide (46´).
Samuel Etoo began to find space in the second period, and that spelled danger for Brazil. A shot on the turn inside the box could have gone anywhere but only found Dida's midriff (61´). Then he wriggled clear, beared down on goal and hit a right foot shot that the Seleçao keeper did well to keep out (73´). It was clear that someone was going to have to do something out of the ordinary to win this game. And so it proved. Etoo picked up a ball thirty metres out following a poor clearance by Dida. With Juan and Lúcio looking on, the Real Mallorca star rocketed a dipping shot over Dida and into the net. The Indomptable Lions were ahead (83´). Though shaken, the Seleção seemed incapable of forcing there way back into the game. Only Belletti appeared dangerous, unleashing a long range effort in injury time (91´). Hungry for more, Etoo again broke free on the left and almost made it two (92´). At the final whistle, the world champions were well and truly down – but are they out?