World Cup day 9 roundup: Portugal & Brazil qualify; Cameroon & Serbia entertain; Ghana win

90min
Ronaldo is back in action
Ronaldo is back in action / Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto/GettyImages
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Day nine saw us bid farewell to the four-game madness of the World Cup, with all fixtures from Tuesday running concurrently ahead of the knockout stages.

We went out in style as Cameroon clawed a dramatic draw with Serbia and Ghana sealed an entertaining victory over South Korea, before Brazil and Portugal both won to seal their spots in the knockout stages.

Here's how the day played out.


Portugal 2-0 Uruguay

Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo celebrated like it was his goal / Markus Gilliar - GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

Portugal advanced to the knockout stages with a 1-0 victory over Uruguay on Monday evening.

A scrappy first half saw Portugal dominate possession but concede the best chance to Tottenham midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur, who had a handful of good opportunities to open the scoring inside a cagey first half.

After the break, Portugal got the goal they were looking for, but in confusing fashion.

Did Ronaldo touch it?

A Bruno Fernandes cross was floated into the box and Cristiano Ronaldo leapt highest and wheeled away in celebration as the ball hit the back of the net. Replays showed, however, that he may not have touched the ball.

The stadium announcer gave the goal to Fernandes but FIFA credited Ronaldo, only to go back on themselves ten minutes later and award the strike to Fernandes.

There was no doubting the scorer of the second, however, as Fernandes tapped home a penalty to seal the victory.


Brazil 1-0 Switzerland

Casemiro
Casemiro saved the day / Robert Cianflone/GettyImages

Brazil sealed their spot in the knockout stages of the World Cup with the ugliest of victories over Switzerland at Stadium 974.

A game devoid of any real quality was brought to life five minutes from time thanks to a glorious strike from Casemiro, whose fizzing half-volley finally beat Yann Sommer and booked the Selecao's place in the next round.

It was an ugly first half for Brazil, who looked devoid of quality in the absence of Neymar, and Switzerland did a superb job of keeping them at bay.

A tough start to life without Neymar

Vinicius Junior thought he'd opened the scoring around the hour mark but the automated offside system clocked Richarlison had wandered earlier in the move and ruled it out.

It seemed as though a bore draw was on the cards before Casemiro found his way into the box and drilled home the winner.


South Korea 2-3 Ghana

Korea Republic v Ghana: Group H - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
A big win for Ghana / Alex Grimm/GettyImages

South Korea are facing an early elimination after a dramatic 3-2 defeat to Ghana.

The Asian side were dominant in the first 20 minutes without really asking any questions of Ghana, who took a surprise lead through Mohammed Salisu with their first real attack.

Ten minutes later, Ghana had a second as Jordan Ayew's excellent cross was finished off by Mohammed Kudus, and given South Korea hadn't even managed a shot on target by this point, it looked done and dusted.

However, two goals in quick succession from Cho Gue-Sung tied things up on the hour mark and set up an enthralling final half hour.

A tale of two halves

The score wasn't tied for too long though as the Black Stars went back ahead through Kudus' composed strike.

South Korea pushed and pushed for an equaliser but just couldn't find one, and they were incensed at full time after arguing that they should have had more time for a late corner. Referee Anthony Taylor was having none of it and showed manager Paulo Bento a red card.


Cameroon 3-3 Serbia

Vincent Aboubakar
Aboubakar made the difference / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Cameroon and Serbia played out one of the games of the tournament in Monday’s early kick-off.

The Indomitable Lions had to weather an early storm before taking the lead against the run of play, with Jean-Charles Castelletto tapping in at the far post from a corner.

But Serbia scored twice in first half stoppage time to go into the break ahead. Strahinja Pavlovic equalised with a header, before Sergej Milinkovic-Savic fired in at the near post shortly after.

Aleksandar Mitrovic added a third at the end of a sweeping move as the Eagles looked to romp to victory, but Cameroon had other ideas.

Substitute Vincent Aboubakar raced clear and scored with a wonderful dink presuming that he was going to be flagged offside, but a VAR check revealed he was played on by Nikola Milenkovic and the goal stood.

Moments later, Milenkovic once again played the striker on, allowing his cross for Eric-Maxim Chuopo Moting and subsequent tap-in to stand to rescue a point.

How did Cameroon come back?

Serbia had a lot more of the ball and at times played some wonderful football, but they were punished for their wastefulness and lapses in concentration.

Cameroon, who had dropped star goalkeeper Andre Onana from the squad prior to kick-off, showed their mental toughness and kept fighting, ultimately creating the game’s biggest chances and grabbing three deserved goals.


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